When you think of Italian food, your first thought is pizza. But what about cheesy lasagna enriched with meat sauce and layers of white creamy delight?
Unlike regular pasta dishes, lasagna takes more time to cook. Maybe that’s the reason this hearty dish is not often in your meal plans. Although it takes some time and effort, lasagna is pretty easy to make. Not to mention you can also freeze it and prepare ahead of time.
There are so many lasagna recipes and new versions of lasagna like vegetarian lasagna with zucchini or eggplant. But nothing can beat this classic lasagna recipe. Creamy bechamel sauce with melted mozzarella and gouda, flavored with bolognese like sauce, there is no mistake with this lasagna recipe.
How do you make lasagna from scratch?
Here’s how to make lasagna step by step. For more details on ingredients check the recipe card. While the white sauce is slowly being cooked, you can prepare the red sauce and even cook fresh pasta sheets. The prep time is about 30 minutes and then you are free to enjoy your coffee time (or matcha tea) while the lasagna is baking.
- Prepare bechamel sauce with cheese
Cook flour with butter at low heat, add milk and stir at medium heat until the sauce becomes thicker. Add shredded mozzarella or gouda or both and stir well so the cheese melts.
2. Make bolognese like sauce
Stir fry onions, add ground meat. When the meat is cooked add pelati. Cook the sauce for at least 15 min at medium heat.
3.Assemble the lasagna
In a baking dish, put some bolognese sauce then top with a lasagna sheet. Pour bechamel sauce and add another sheet. Add more bolognese sauce, slices of mozzarella, and another lasagna sheet. Top the lasagna with bechamel sauce and finish with bolognese sauce. In the last 10 minutes of baking, sprinkle some parmesan on it.
Creamy bechamel sauce for lasagna
The secret in making this sauce creamy and without lumps is to cook milk with flour and butter at low heat, patiently. After half an hour or so, the milk will thicken a bit. It doesn’t have to be of completely solid texture when you remove it from the stove top. It will cook and evaporate additionally when you bake lasagna in the oven.
What’s more important, add a generous amount of cheese at the end. The more cheese you put, the tastier lasagna will be. A combination of mozzarella and gouda or similar type of cheese showed the best for making the white sauce for lasagna.
To cook or not to cook pasta sheets?
If you want to save some time you can use dry pasta sheets that don’t ask for cooking. I prefer using fresh pasta sheets because they turn out more tender. It just takes 10 minutes or so to cook pasta sheets.
Depending on the brand you buy, you may end up with extra sheets of pasta. You can save it for later to make some other lasagna or use a larger baking pan to bake lasagna. In that case, just add some extra cheese in it, no need to double the amount of white and red sauce.
This lasagna easy recipe without ricotta cheese is all you need for your next family gathering.
Easy Lasagna Recipe without Ricotta Cheese
- 1 pack pasta sheets fresh or dry
- 1 cup parmesan cheese (for topping)
- 300 g mozzarella
For the Meat Sauce:
- 1 yellow onion
- 3 or 4 cloves of garlic
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 500 g ground beef
- 500 g pelati
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp basil
For the White Sauce:
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 3 cups of milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- 2 cups of gouda or similar hard cheese
- Cook fresh pasta sheets according to the packaging instructions. If you are using dry pasta sheets you can skip this step.
- Fry flour with butter and oil at low heat. After a few minutes, add milk and cook at medium heat until the sauce becomes thicker (around 30 minutes). Add shredded gouda and stir well so the cheese melts.
- While the white sauce is cooking, chop the onions and garlic. Fry the onions until translucent, then add garlic and ground beef. Stir fry the meat until almost cooked, then add pelati, salt, pepper, sugar and basil. Cook the sauce for about 20 minutes in total.
- In a baking dish, put some bolognese sauce then top with a lasagna sheet. Pour bechamel sauce and add another sheet. Add more bolognese sauce, slices of mozzarella, and another lasagna sheet. Top the lasagna with bechamel sauce and finish with bolognese sauce. In the last 10 minutes of baking, sprinkle some parmesan on it.