Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Beef Lasagna

Lasagna

Lasagna is not a dish; its a way of life! - GARFIELD     :-)
Finally nailed it down. Lasagna with a firm 6 layers of goodness. The trick is not so liquidy meat sauce and used a scraper to spread the layers of meat sauce and béchamel sauce. Best of all I used homemade fresh pasta.

Ingredients:
fresh pasta
meat sauce
bechamel sauce
cheese

Fresh Pasta
300 g. flour
3 eggs

Place the flour on a flat working surface, make a well at the center and add 3 eggs. Mix the eggs with a fork and slowly incorporate the flour with the eggs until mixture forms a dough. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a log and cut every 2 inch. Shape each cut into another log and flatten with a rolling pin as thin as you can dusting with flour when necessary. Note that working with a smaller portion at a time is easier than making a bigger one. (just a personal point of view)  Cut the pasta into desired shape. (spaghetti, tagliatelle, lasagna etc.)


Meat Sauce
1/2  kg. ground beef
1 onion (finely chopped)
4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 tsp rosemary (dried)
1 tsp thyme (dried)
1 tsp. basil (dried)
1 can tomato sauce (250 g)
4 tsp. tomato paste
salt and pepper

Sautee garlic and onion until translucent. Add rosemary, thyme and basil, add meat. Stir occasionally and let it simmer until the liquid has evaporated, add tomato sauce and simmer for 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper, add tomato paste. simmer for another 2 minutes.  The sauce must not be liquidy, it must be a little thicker like a paste.

Bechamel Sauce
3 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup milk
2 cloves garlic
3 Tablespoons butter
salt to taste

Peel garlic and crush it at the back of a knife  until it becomes a paste and add it to the milk, season with salt. Melt butter in a saucepan in low heat, add flour and mix it with a wooden spoon until it forms a paste, add milk and mix vigorously until it thickens.

To assemble the lasagna:

Preheat oven at 350 C.
In a rectangular pan, place pasta sheet, add a thin layer of meat sauce, béchamel sauce and cheese. Repeat the layers until the pan is full; ending with cheese on top. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees C.


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