This traditional Lasagna Recipe, is a simple lasagna from the Region of Lazio in Italy. A delicious Homemade sauce makes this one of the best! The perfect family or company coming dinner idea. Comfort food never tasted so good.
Lasagna, comes in so many different types and they’re all so good! There are many ways of making it. I have to admit I have eaten quite a few types from, Zucchini, White Sauce, and even Asparagus Lasagna and of course this Traditional Lasagna. If you want to make it even richer make it with this Bolognese Sauce.
How to make it
In a large pot add the olive oil, ground beef, chopped carrots, celery, onion, garlic and salt, sauté until meat has started to brown, then add the tomato pure, water and spices, cook on medium/low heat until thickened.
In a medium baking dish spread 2-3 spoonfuls of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan, place the lasagna noodles on top, then top with the meat sauce, white sauce, chopped mozzarella and parmesan cheese, continue with 3-4 layers, the last layer should be without the white sauce. Bake in a pre-heated oven. Let the Lasagna sit for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
The traditional or Classic Lasagna is made by layering flat noodles with a meat sauce then with a bechamel sauce and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese as added ingredients.
The classic dish that I ate here in Italy which is common in the Region where I live (Lazio) is made with a meat sauce, mozzarella, parmesan cheese and a creamy white sauce.
I know some of you will ask “what no ricotta or hard-boiled eggs?” I’m afraid you will have to go a little more to the south of Italy to find this type of lasagna, But trust me you will not be disappointed with this Classic from Lazio.
What to serve with it
For Italians, Lasagna is considered a primo piatto (first plate) which means after we would serve a meat and side dish. Of course lasagna is usually served for special occasions such as Christmas or Easter. Which means, yes dessert would be served also.
How to store it
The baked lasagna should be stored in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container for 1-2 days. It can also be prepared the day before, be sure to cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate, remove from the fridge, let sit for about 30 minutes then bake.
It can also be frozen, unbaked be sure to cover it completely with foil. When ready to bake thaw it overnight in the fridge. Bake as directed in the recipe. You can also freeze baked lasagna, just be sure to cool it completely and cover with foil. Let it thaw in the fridge and reheat in the microwave or oven. It will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer.
What noodles to use
I used oven ready lasagna noodles, but you can also use fresh lasagna noodles or even dry noodles that need to be boiled first. Whatever you prefer will work just fine.
I usually start my sauce a couple of hours before I put the lasagna together, I cook it on very low heat, because I like the ingredients to mingle. I love this dish because it really is one of the easiest dishes to put together. Imagine four layers of noodles, a wonderfully thick meat sauce, chopped fresh mozzarella , lots of freshly grated mozzarella and that creamy white sauce. Need I say more? Buon Appetito!
Traditional Lasagna Recipe
FOR THE MEAT SAUCE
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef (226 grams)
- 1/2 carrot (chopped small)
- 1 celery stalk (chopped small)
- 1/2 onion (chopped small)
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups tomato puree (900 grams)
- 1 1/4 cups water (295 grams)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1-2 pinches hot pepper flakes (if desired)
FOR THE WHITE SAUCE*
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- pinch salt
- 1-2 dashes black pepper (if desired)
- 1 3/4 cups milk (420 grams)
- 1-1 1/2 cups chopped fresh mozzarella (225-340 grams)
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (100 grams)
- 16 lasagna noodles** (also referred to as strips oven ready), more or less
*If you prefer you can use a good store bought bechamel of choice.
** If you prefer you can use the lasagna noodles that need to be boiled.
FOR THE MEAT SAUCE
- In a large pot add the olive oil, ground beef, chopped carrots, celery, onion, garlic and salt, sauté for approximately 10 minutes or until meat has started to brown, then add the tomato pure, water and spices, cook on medium heat until thickened (quite thick), approximately 30-60 minutes.
FOR THE WHITE SAUCE
- In a medium pot over medium heat melt the butter, add the flour and salt, whisk to combine well, add the milk slowly and stir constantly until the sauce has thickened (taste for salt). Remove from heat. (or you can purchase a good store bought white sauce).
- Pre-heat oven to 350° (180° celsius)
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
- In a baking dish measuring 10x10x2 (25x25x5 cm) spread 2-3 spoonfuls of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan, add a layer of lasagna noodles, then continue to layer in the following order, the meat sauce, white sauce, chopped mozzarella and parmesan cheese, continue making 3-4 layers, the last layer should be without the white sauce, so remember to divide the ingredients by 3 or 4, depending on how many layers you wish to make.
- Bake for approximate 20-30 minutes, or until cooked through. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Updated from November 18, 2014.