Lasagna Recipe?

I'm having some friends over tomorrow and I'm making lasagna. My friends like my lasagna but I think it could be better. I've been looking at some recipes on-line and I might use one of them but I just thought I'd see if any of you had a special recipe.
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  • marielle448marielle448 Registered Users Posts: 1,823
    Here's my old standby:

    Lasagna (Pastillo Di Lasagna)

    1 pound lean ground beef
    1 pound ground italian sausage (I usually use the mild and find it without
    the casings, if you can only find it in the casing, just cut them off and slip
    out the meat)
    1 large yellow onion chopped
    1 large red bell pepper chopped
    2 (28 oz) cans italian-style crushed tomatoes
    1 tablespoon good oregano
    salt, pepper & sugar to taste
    3 cloves of garlic minced
    1 1/2 glasses of good red wine (I usually use a merlot or shiraz)
    1 (8-oz) package frozen baby sweet peas
    2 (16oz) packages lasagna noodles
    4 cups mozzarella cheese
    1 recipe of the bechamel sauce
    parmesan cheese

    1. In a heavy stock pot or dutch oven, saute the onion & bell pepper in a
    bit of olive oil. Season with salt & pepper. Add the grown beef &
    sausage and break up while browning. Add the garlic. After the meat
    has been well crumbled and is beginning to brown add the oregano,
    crushed tomatoes and red wine.

    2. Fill up one of the crushed tomato cans with water & add to the meat.
    Add about a tablespoon of sugar at this point to counteract the acidity of
    the tomatoes. Bring to a vigorous simmer and reduce heat to medium.
    Allow the sauce to slowly thicken and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring
    and checking often. Once sauce has thickened, adjust the salt & sugar if
    necessary, allowing to cook through for about 5 minutes after each
    adjustment (add water if the sauce gets too thick).

    3. The sauce is at the perfect thickness when it looks like a thick,
    yet-loose meat sauce. Turn off the heat and add the green peas, stir.

    4. Spread a bit of the sauce in a 9x13x2 baking pan and layer with RAW
    lasagna noodles. To fit the noodles you can break them up and don't
    worry if they're not pretty looking (they will cook under the sauce). Layer a
    generous layer of meat sauce over the noodles making sure each one is
    covered by sauce and meat. Spread a layer of mozzarella cheese &
    sprinkle some parmesan cheese. Continue layer more noodles,
    until there's about an inch of space left in the casserole dish. You should
    have 4-5 layers.

    5. Spread bechamel sauce over the top of the lasagna and sprinkle
    generously with parmesan cheese. At this point you can cover with
    plastic wrap and freeze. Then defrost in the fridge or on the countertop
    and follow the baking instrucitons.

    6. Baking instructions: Remove plastic wrap from lasagna & cover
    with foil. Bake in a 350 deg. pre-heated oven for an hour. Remove the
    foil and with a knife or skewer, test the center to make sure the noodles
    are soft. If the noodles are not soft, recover and bake an additional 20
    minutes. If they are soft, bake uncovered for another 20-30 minutes until
    the bechamel sauce is gold brown.

    *Note: My sicilian neighbor used to add layers of sliced, roasted
    between the meat layers for her own touch.

    The bechamel is a cinch and you can even attempt a low-fat version with
    the fat-free evaporated milk:

    Bechamel Sauce

    3 tablespoons butter
    3 tablespoons flour
    2 (12-oz) cans of evaporated milk (you can sub heavy cream if you have
    but I like the rich color of evaporated milk)
    2 dashes Worchestire Sauce
    1 tsp Powdered Garlic
    Salt to taste

    1. In a heavy sauce pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the
    flour and mix well quickly. Stir out any lumps and cook the butter/flour
    mixture (roux) for about 3 minutes or until it doesn't have the floury smell
    and is beginning to get light golden brown.

    2. Quickly stir in the evaporated milk with a whisk and keep stirring
    vigorously with the whisk in order to work out any lumps. Add about 2
    dashes of Worchestire Sauce, garlic powder & salt to taste. Bring the
    mixture to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Continue stirring and
    cooking until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon. The
    sauce thickens a bit more as it cools.

    A good rule to remember is that for every cup of evaporated milk or
    cream you want to thicken, use 1 tablespoon of fat (oil or butter) and 1
    tablespoon of flour.

    If you ever want to make Mac n Cheese, just skip the seasonings & add
    about 3 cups of shredded cheddar to the finished bechamel sauce until it
    melts. Add garlic powder and salt to taste then toss with your favorite
    pasta. This sauce also makes an awesome scalloped potato casserole if
    you layer with ham & gouda cheese.

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