Italy is famous for its delicious cuisine, and it has a lot of dishes to offer. Most of us are familiar with pasta and pizza, which are the most popular dishes anyone can cook. But there are other recipes that Italians are proud of. Here is a guide on how to make the best Italian lasagna recipe ever.
If you are tired of eating pasta or pizza every now and then, we suggest you try making lasagna at home. Before you proceed, here is a brief history of where the dish comes from. Surprisingly enough, the origins of lasagna can be traced back to ancient Greeks. When in 146 BC, the Romans took over Greece; they started to learn more about their culture, including the cuisine. Greeks had the word ‘laganon’, which means flat dough, which was sliced into strips. While lasagna did not originate in Greece, the Romans took this idea of ‘laganon’ and brought back to Italy. The first lasagna was made in Naples during the Middle Ages. It was a dish that was served on special occasions. Later in history, Italian immigrants brought the dish to the US, and this is how the world learned about lasagna.
For ragu: 110g butter; 1 celery stick, chopped; 1 carrot, chopped; 1 onion, chopped; 1 kg fine beef, chopped; 1 rosemary sprig; 125ml dry white wine; 400g canned chopped tomatoes.
For the bechamel sauce: 1l full-fat milk; 1 bay leaf; 75g butter; 125g pasta flour; A pinch of nutmeg; 100g parmesan; 2 egg yolks.
In order to make the ragu, take the butter and melt it in a large dish over medium heat. Add all the vegetables, rosemary and preferred seasoning, and fry for 5 minutes. Add spices to beef, and transfer the meat to the dish. Cook with vegetables for about 5 more minutes. Add wine and tomatoes, and bring all of it to boil. Cook on a low heat for about 1.5 hours, stirring everything from time to time. Make sure the meat is tender, and the sauce has thickened over time.
To make the bechamel sauce you need to add milk to the saucepan with a bay leaf and bring it to simmer. Once it’s done, set aside. In another pan, melt butter, then whisk in the flour and hot milk. Whisk everything together until smooth, and then cook for about 15 minutes until the sauce is thick. Add the nutmeg, and later some parmesan and egg yolks.
Prepare the oven. Heat it 180C or 160C fan. Take the pasta sheets and drop them into boiling water for approximately 20 seconds, just so they are softened, and then immediately transfer them into ice-cold water. Once you have all the sheets ready, prepare a large baking dish. Put a layer of pasta sheets as a base; add a layer of ragu, then bechamel sauce. Repeat until you used all the pasta, filling, and sauce. Finish with a layer of sauce on top, and sprinkle with some parmesan. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the lasagna is golden brown. After it is ready, leave for about 10 minutes to cool down. And there you go! Traditional Italian lasagna at your table! Pour a glass of your favorite wine and enjoy.