Lasagna Bechamel

In October of 2012, I went on the trip of a lifetime to Italy.  While there, I had the most amazing lasagna, nothing like I have had here in the past.  You have to try this.

This lasagna uses many dishes…  After now having made this twice, the red sauce can definitely be made ahead of time, as the same with the bechamel sauce.  Just bring to room temperature before combining.

This casserole can be split into two or three baking dishes and frozen

Original Recipe by Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.  Truly the best lasagna I have ever had.

Lasagna Bechamel

Yield:14 Servings

prep time:1 Hour

cook time:1 Hour

total time: 2 Hours

Ingredients

  • Red Sauce:

     

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic (finely minced (see garlic tutorial here))
  • 1/2 large onion (diced (about 1/2 cup))
  • 8 ounces mushrooms (chopped)
  • 2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or a mix of dried oregano and basil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

White Sauce- Bechamel:

 

  • 3 cups milk (not skim, I used 1%)
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

 

Lasagna:

 

  • 9 lasagna noodles (boiled for half the time on the box (or use 12 of the no-boil noodles, of which I far prefer the Barilla brand))
  • 1 pound ground turkey – I used and prefer ground chicken
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 8 ounces Parmesan cheese (shredded)

Instructions

  1. Always begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees, and gathering all of your ingredients, grouped by the part of the dish you will be completing first.m  The red sauce is the easier of the two, as it can sit, or sit and simmer, and the bechamel needs more stirring.

     

Red Sauce

  1.  In a 2-3 quart saucepan, place the olive oil and butter over medium heat.  Add the diced onion, and mushrooms, cooking for about 5 minutes until the onions soften.

  2. Add the garlic, cook for an additional minute.  Add the seasonings, salt and pepper, and the tomato sauces and pastes.  Stir to combine and bring to a low simmer.

 

White Sauce- Bechamel:

 

  1. In another 2-3 quart sauce pan, melt the butter, then add the flower whisking completely.  Allow this mixture to cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the salt and pepper to taste. 
  2. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly to make sure it does not burn on the bottom of the pan.  After about 5-10 minutes, the mixture will begin thickening and once it has reached a creamy consistency, taste for seasonings and turn the heat off.

 

Assembly:

 

  1. In your lasagna pan, spoon a ladle full of the red sauce along the bottom, and spread around to cover all of the bottom.
  2. Layer your lasagna noodles evenly across the surface.  Layer in more red sauce, then white sauce, then the cheeses, repeating this 2 more times and ending with perhaps a little extra cheese.
  3. Cover with foil, and bake for 40 minutes, until bubbly.  Remove the foil, add some fresh basil leaves and bake for another 15 minutes to allow the cheese to begin browning. Let the lasagna rest for at least 10-15 minutes.   When ready to serve, drizzle with some truffled olive oil.

 


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