Introduction: Lasagna is a beloved Italian dish made with layers of pasta, rich meat sauce, creamy béchamel, and plenty of cheese. It’s a comforting and satisfying meal that’s perfect for gatherings or a family dinner. This recipe will guide you through the process of making a mouthwatering classic beef lasagna that will leave everyone at the table craving for seconds.
For the Meat Sauce:
- 1 pound (450g) lean ground beef
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
For the Béchamel Sauce:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 9 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package instructions
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Prepare the Meat Sauce:
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until it becomes translucent.
- Add the minced garlic and ground beef, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook until the beef is browned.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper. If desired, add red wine for extra flavor.
- Simmer the sauce for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the chopped fresh parsley and set the meat sauce aside.
- Make the Béchamel Sauce:
- In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the all-purpose flour and whisk continuously for 2-3 minutes to create a roux.
- Gradually add the milk while whisking to avoid lumps. Continue cooking and whisking until the sauce thickens.
- Season the béchamel with ground nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
- Assemble the Lasagna:
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- In a large baking dish, spread a thin layer of meat sauce on the bottom.
- Place three cooked lasagna noodles on top of the meat sauce.
- Spread a layer of meat sauce over the noodles, followed by a layer of béchamel sauce, and a generous sprinkling of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- Repeat the layers until all ingredients are used, finishing with a layer of meat sauce and a generous cheese topping.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the lasagna is bubbling and the top is golden brown.
- Allow the lasagna to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley if desired.
Enjoy your homemade classic beef lasagna! It’s a labor of love that’s well worth the effort. This recipe will serve about 8 people, and leftovers can be just as delicious the next day.