December 2018

Béchamel Lasagna


For the Tomato Sauce (or use a jar of good quality sauce like Rao's)
3 tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
20 leaves of fresh basil
2 cans San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
1 tube of tomato paste

For the Béchamel
5 tbs butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour or chickpea flour
4 cups whole milk, room temperature
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
Salt and white pepper

1/4 cup of olive oil
1 pound ground beef
Salt and black pepper
1 1/2 pounds of ricotta cheese
3 large eggs
1 box no boil lasagna sheets
2 packages of frozen organic spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 ball of mozzarella
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan


Preheat oven to 375. Defrost spinach and drain.

To make the tomato sauce add 3 tbs of olive oil to a sauce pan. Add chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic. Sauté for 5 more minutes. Add 1 tbs of tomato paste and mix into onions and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes. Chiffonade the basil and add to pan. Puree 2 cans of San Marzano tomatoes and add to pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce to simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

To make the béchamel, melt 5 tbs of butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually add room temperature milk whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer and whisk over medium heat until thick and creamy, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add nutmeg and combine with tomato sauce.

In a sauté pan heat 1/4 cup of olive oil. When almost smoking add ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. break up the meat and cook until browned. Remove from heat and drain from oil.

In a medium sized bowl, mix ricotta and eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Using a clean dish towel, squeeze all water from spinach. Thoroughly mix spinach into ricotta mixture.

Spread tomato béchamel onto the bottom of a 13 X 9 baking dish. Arrange pasta sheets side by side to cover entirely of bottom. Add a layer of the ricotta mixture, spread evenly. Arrange another layer of pasta and spread all the ground beef on top. Top with slices of mozzarella cheese. Spread another layer of tomato béchamel. Arrange the final layer of pasta sheets and top with remaining tomato béchamel, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Top with freshly ground pepper.

Top lasagna with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes. To brown the top switch to boil for the last 1-2 minutes.

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