Tuesday, January 28, 2014

NONNA FRANCA'S LASAGNE


This is the first time I have made lasagne with a meat sauce, and a rich and a creamy Béchamel sauce with a hint of nutmeg. 

I was looking at my dishes on the Vietri blog when I spotted this recipe.  Here is the adorable recipe in Italian.  Here is a Printable recipe. Click here.

The recipe points out that you want to stay away from no-boil pasta sheets or freshly made pasta for the noodles, but I used fresh pasta sheets from Wegman's with great success. I gave the recipe five stars, but my hubby prefers my red sauce lasagna as he is not a big fan of béchamel sauce.

Nonna Franca's Lasagne
Printable Recipe
Ingredients
1-2 Cups of Parmesan cheese (I used one cup)
1 box of Barilla lasagna
Olive oil (6 Tablespoons)

Meat Sauce
1 pound of ground beef
1 carrot
1 medium onion
1 garlic clove (you could add more if you like)
Pinch of fresh flat leaf parsley
1 ½ Cups of Tomato Sauce
1 teaspoon of Sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste


Béchamel Sauce
4 ¼ Cups of whole milk
½ Cup (1 Stick) of Butter
½ Cup of white all-purpose flour
Sprinkle of Nutmeg
Salt
Finely chop carrot, celery, onion, garlic, and parsley (I used my food processor).

In a medium sized pan, add six Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Let olive oil heat for just a minute and add the chopped carrot, celery, onion, garlic and parsley. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until vegetables are bright in color and garlic is fragrant.  Add meat and cook until brown.  Add tomato sauce. 
Add a teaspoon of sugar, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer for 1½ hours. Stir every once in a while, and add chicken stock if the sauce gets too thick. Once the sauce has cooked for about an hour, start the béchamel sauce and preheat oven to 350°.

Melt butter in a non-stick pan. Add flour, salt, and a sprinkle of nutmeg and whisk until smooth.
While still whisking, add milk and incorporate ingredients well. Over medium heat watch for the sauce to thicken. You want it spreadable.

In a large stock pot, bring salted water to a boil. Note: You want to stay away from the no-boil pasta sheets or freshly made pasta as the noodles will continue to cook while lasagna is in the oven. Cook pasta for ONLY 2 minutes. Drain pasta well. By this time your meat sauce should be finished cooking.

Ladle meat sauce to cover the bottom of your baking dish. This recipe will make enough to fill a 13”x9” pan. Layer noodles on top of the meat sauce.  Add the béchamel sauce on top of the noodles and top with parmesan cheese. Repeat until all ingredients have been used (about four or five layers). Top with Parmesan cheese.

Cook lasagna for 25-30 minutes at 350°. The top should have a golden color.

Buon appetito! I am joining Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday.
Thanks for stopping by. 
xo
Debbie

7 comments:

  1. I love lasagna, Debbie! Two friends and I were making Pizzelles yesterday and talking about lasagna and that we've never had it with bechamel sauce and here it is! It sounds delicious, but I'm sure I'd love Joe's favorite as well. I have that same heart Le Crueset pot. Thanks for the recipe, dear friend. xo

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  2. Look at your pot:) How adorable!!

    I bet I would like this..I seem to love so many different types of lasagna..
    And you are right her Santa recipe..so cute..

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  3. Yummy yum yum! So delicious, Debbie. xo

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  4. Always nice to change things up a bit every once in a while! Lovin' your Le Creuset pot Debbie:@)

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  5. That is very much like the recipe we learned at the cooking school in Italy. I had a lasagna at a restaurant when I was a teenager that was topped with bechamel sauce and I came home and told my mom about it and we started making it that way ever since so when I went to Italy and learned that was how they did it, I was thrilled.
    It looks beautiful!

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    1. Jacqueline, the bechamel sauce really changed it up a bit. I felt like I was in Italy while eating this dish!

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  6. Like Jacqueline, my sister, said, my mother used to make a lasagna with a béchamel sauce, and that was the way I thought all lasagnas were. It was always a hit at the family reunions. Yours looks wonderful, and that little red pot is so seasonal and fun. Joni

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