Friday, October 1, 2010

Satisfying Lasagna

greetings from the Land of Vikings-
I have always wanted to try making my own lasagna (usually I buy frozen stouffer's), finally I have collected cheap ingredients that enable me to do so. I must say, it is easy to make, but it takes a lot of time for a busy grad student like most of us scientists. This recipe is originally adapted from Giada de Laurentiis, but with my own cheap twist of course! (no cooking oil is added in this recipe) Also it took me 1 week to finish this pie ...good more my money and tummy!

Bechamel Sauce
  •  2 T butter
  • 4 t all purpose flour 
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • a pinch of nutmeg
Meat sauce
  • 1lb ground beef (85/15)
  • 1 26oz can Hunt's Zesty and Spicy spaghetti sauce (or any red sauce on sale)

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 (15oz) tub of whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella 
  • 12 dry lasagna sheets
Direction (serve 9)

To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Whisk the salt, pepper, and nutmeg into the bechamel sauce.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Mix the ricotta, onion, garlic, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, egg, honey, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.

Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Pour the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Lay out 4 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread about 4 tablespoons of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle. On top layer with another sheet of lasagna sheet, then top with meat sauce, followed by the bechamel sauce. Repeat this 2 more times to make it a 3-tier lasagna pie.

Sprinkle the mozzarella over the pie. Cover tightly with foil. Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes.

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