Baked lasagna is one of the oldest Italian casserole dishes. It is made with lasagna noodles, meat sauce, white sauce (Bechamel), and different types of cheeses such as mozarella and parmesan. This is an all time favorite with many families. There are tons of lasagna recipes out there, but this is our family’s recipe which we usually serve on occasions such as Thanksgiving and birthdays. What makes our lasagna different from others? It’s moist, gooey and cheesy. You know what the secret is? It’s the crushed tomatoes we use as an additional topping. This makes our lasagna moist and phenomenal.
Making lasagna requires a lot time and preparation, but it is surely worth it. I will break down the steps so it will be easy to follow. For example, it involves making the meat sauce, cooking the lasagna noodles, making the white sauce, layering the noodles and toppings, baking the lasagna, and my most favorite part: slicing and eating the fresh lasagna! The order in which you add the toppings is completely optional. But this is the way we prefer to do it. I know you want to make this, and I’m sure you will not disappointed.
[btn color=”orange” target=””]Ingredients:[/btn]
- lasagna noodles
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- water for boiling
For meat sauce:
- 24 oz spaghetti sauce
- 1/4 cup cheddar or Monterrey jack cheese
- 1 lb. ground beef
- pinch of basil (optional)
- 1 small onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup water
- cooking oil
For white sauce:
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 cup fresh milk
- 1/4 cup grated Monterrey jack or cheddar cheese
- Servings: 5
- Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Level: Advanced
- Cuisine: Italian
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[btn color=”orange” target=””]Directions:[/btn]
To make the meat sauce: Add cooking oil in a preheated pan. Place ground beef in and fry until light brown. Add the onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes until fragrant. Pour in spaghetti sauce and water. (You can swirl water the bottom of the spaghetti sauce bottle to remove any remaining sauce.) Season with basil, salt and pepper. Add the quick melt cheese and stir until well incorporated. Cover and simmer over low heat for at least 20 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool down for a few minutes.
Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions and drain well.
To make the white sauce: Add butter and flour in a saucepan. Whisk continuously over low heat until flour is fully dissolved. Pour in fresh milk one half at a time; continue to whisk until smooth, lump free, and well combined. Turn off heat. Sprinkle in grated Monterrey jack or cheddar cheese and stir well until sauce is creamy and cheeses melt. Allow to cool down for a few minutes.
- Spread the meat sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. (We use an 8 x 8 cake pan). Lay lasagna noodles over lapping each other a little.
- Spread white sauce evenly. Then cover with meat sauce. And crushed tomatoes.
- Sprinkle with a generous amount of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- Repeat procedure until you reach the last layer. Our lasagna has two layers. You can add more, depending on how deep your baking dish is. Now the lasagna is ready to bake.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for at least 30-40 minutes.
- Slice and serve with garlic bread. Enjoy!