Do you know someone who doesn’t like classic delicious lasagna? I probably don’t. At least I think so since I don’t automatically ask everyone if lasagna is their favorite food. Maybe I should. Would that be weird? Probably yes, but at least I would know if we can still be friends.
Now seriously. A recipe for classic lasagna is the perfect idea for a Saturday or Sunday lunch. Don’t you know what to cook over the weekend and want to surprise the whole family?
Lasagna, lasagna and lasagna again!
I love recipes that feed a lot of hungry people. Many times when a family comes to visit, the best classic lasagna in the middle of the table can’t be missed.
This recipe is also a great holiday meal. And not just for the holidays. It is suitable for every occasion. Every time I cook lasagna I have it for lunch, dinner, and a snack. And probably as a dessert too. It’s one of those dishes that really can be eaten all the time.
How to make the best lasagna
The basis is, of course, ragu or meat sauce. There are many ways to make a delicious lasagna ragu. To get started, choose good meat. You have more options. Probably the most common choice is ground beef. But you can also go to a butcher’s shop and get a piece of beef brisket, for example.
Brisket is often used in ragu and is very popular because it “melts” beautifully when cooked for a longer time. Eventually, it gives the sauce a perfect deep flavor. After cooking, just tear it nicely with a fork.
Regarding the minced meat again. If you can get Italian sausages, pair them with your lovely beef. You can also use these with beef brisket.
But if you only want to stay with minced meat, add minced pork to the beef, which will give the sauce excellent juiciness. I like to use 750g ground beef and 250g ground pork.
Some also like to use Italian pancetta, which you can cut into smaller cubes and add after sautéeing onions.
And what about carrots and celery? As you like. You certainly won’t ruin the ragu with celery. I personally cook with carrots only when I make bolognese sauce. It really can’t be missed there. But I really like to use celery for lasagna ragu.
Béchamel or ricotta mixture?
Authentic Italian lasagna requires béchamel sauce. However, this does not automatically mean that you have to use it in your recipe. I like to swap it. One day I’ll make béchamel for lasagna, and another time I’ll make a mixture of ricotta, egg, and parsley.
To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Once the mixture thickens, start adding milk gradually while stirring. Finally, season with salt and pepper, add nutmeg and parmesan cheese.
To make lasagna with ricotta mixture, simply mix the ricotta cheese, one egg, and finely chopped parsley in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and add a little parmesan cheese.
The second choice seems to me to be quite “lighter” and healthier. In my opinion, Ricotta is suitable for warm summer weather. Béchamel, on the other hand, fits me better in the winter months. I don’t know, maybe I’m weird. Try both versions and let me know what you like better.
How to assemble lasagna?
First, spread a layer of meat sauce on the bottom. Then add the lasagna sheets so that you cover the entire surface (use a quality one). Then spread your meat sauce again and béchamel sauce (or ricotta) on top of it.
Place the pieces of mozzarella and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Repeat this process until you have filled the entire casserole. Lasagna – meat sauce – béchamel – mozzarella + parmesan.
After about 40 minutes, be sure to remove the foil to keep the top nice and crunchy. When the lasagna is ready, let it rest for at least 15 minutes to get a better texture. This is definitely the hardest step of the whole recipe!Print