Classic Lasagna with Creamy Bechamel Sauce
If you are searching for easy lasagna recipes, you might have a classic lasagna recipe in mind. The following one shows you how to make lasagna with beef and bechamel sauce. This delicious, hearty, and totally authentic lasagna recipe does not take long to make and you probably already have most of the ingredients in your refrigerator or cupboards.
Like most lasagna recipes, this one is made in layers. There is one meat layer but there are a couple of cheese and sauce layers. The lasagna is topped with cheese and butter for a creamy and luxurious finish. You can serve up to ten people with this lasagna (perhaps eight is a more realistic estimate, if they have good appetites) or you can freeze it for up to three months.
The following recipe does not require much equipment but you will need a 13 x 9 inch dish to cook it in. A round dish is not a good replacement because lasagna noodles are rectangular. Invest in a 13 x 9 inch dish if you do not already have one; there are lots of sweet and savory recipes you can use it for.
- 1 lb ground chuck beef or Italian sausage
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 eggs
- 20 oz thawed chopped spinach
- 1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1 ½ cups tomato sauce
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- 1 ½ lbs ricotta cheese
- 4 cups milk, at room temperature
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- Fresh basil, for garnish
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Melt 5 tablespoons of the butter in a pot over a moderate heat, then whisk in the flour for 2 minutes or until the mixture is smooth.
- Add the milk gradually, whisking all the time so you do not get lumps.
- Simmer and whisk the mixture for 10 minutes over a moderate heat, or until the sauce is smooth, creamy, and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Take the pot off the heat and stir in the tomato sauce and nutmeg.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the bechamel sauce cool.
- Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the beef or sausage, seasoning it with some salt and pepper.
- Brown the meat, breaking down any lumps with a wooden spoon.
- Remove from the heat and drain off the fat. Let it cool.
- Mix the eggs and ricotta and season with salt and pepper.
- Spread ⅓ of the bechamel sauce into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
- Arrange the pasta noodles side by side until the bottom of the dish is covered.
- Spread a layer of the ricotta mixture over the top.
- Squeeze all the water out of the spinach, and then add it all to the lasagna.
- Add another layer of pasta sheets, then the meat layer.
- Sprinkle ½ the mozzarella on top and then add another ⅓ of the bechamel sauce.
- Arrange the final layer of lasagna noodles, and then add the rest of the bechamel sauce, parmesan, and mozzarella.
- Cut the remaining butter into cubes and dot these on top.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and put the lasagna dish on it.
- Cover it and bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes or until the lasagna is bubbling.
- Take the cover off and bake for 15 minutes more.
- Garnish with fresh basil.
You can see from the photo how delicious this lasagna is going to taste. It is nice to try seafood lasagna recipes or try making something different like a crockpot lasagna or a vegetable lasagna recipe but sometimes it is also nice to stick to the classic recipe for lasagna and make the traditional dish. If you have only ever eaten frozen lasagna, you are in for a real treat when you make and eat this fresh-tasting and timeless lasagna recipe. Garnishing it with fresh basil gives it a gourmet look which will make your dinner guests drool in anticipation of a fine meal.