By Hugo vG
Pasta is one of my favorite dishes especially lasagna and I also like ravioli. Dad says it is a lot of work to make it, but I do not agree, it is fun work. So I decided to make it myself. Even better, because I can add much extra cheese, which I love.
Who connected us?! You can use a fresh pasta recipe from my Dad’s website here, and the sauces are from a cookbook that is all about pasta, I found it in my dads’ cookbook collection.
Makes: 8 portions | Total time for making dough and sauces: 45 min | Cooking time: 30 min | Total time about 75 minutes
- Pasta dough recipe for 5, I cheated this time and bought fresh pasta sheets 🙂
- 375g lasagna sheets
- 2 cups Mozzarella cheese (to sprinkle on top before baking)
For the meat Sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic gloves
- 500g beef mince
- 2 cans diced tomatoes or 1 ltr tomato sauce, whichever you prefer
- Optional; 2 carrots or other vegies
- fresh or dried herbs, basil and/or oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the bechamel Sauce
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 cup of cheddar or parmesan cheese
First, you start with making the pasta dough according to the recipe of Jamie Oliver and then leave it to rest. When the dough is resting you can make the sauces.
This time I cheated and bought fresh pasta sheets. You can also use dried pasta sheets but I find fresh pasta a bit easier to use when you need to cut it to the size of the dish.
Start with dicing the onion. I find it a bit hard, but my dad insists to do it like the pro’s do. He says that if you practice, you get a lot faster and that will benefit you the rest of your life he says.
I also added some carrot, so I diced the carrots first before I started making the sauce.
To make the meat sauce, put 2 tbsp of olive oil in the pan, add the onions and garlic and stir until it is soft. Then add the diced carrots and cook for a few minutes. That way the carrots caramelize a bit which makes it a little bit sweet.
Then add the minced meat and cook until the meat is brown. Add the tomato, herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pan and simmer for about 20 minutes.
White Cheese Sauce
Melt the butter in a saucepan on low heat. Add the flour and mix until the flour starts to color a bit. Add the milk, little by little and keep stirring. The best way is to do this together with someone. Keep stirring until the sauce is thick and smooth. Add the grated cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.
Rolling the dough and making the lasagna
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius or 180 if it is a fan oven.
If you are making your own dough this is the time to start rolling. You can leave the sauces to cool down a bit, that is no problem. To make the dough it is best to use a pasta machine up to number 6-7. You can also roll the dough with a rolling pin, but of course, that is much more work. When you rolled the sheet, you can easily cut it to the size of the dish you are using. If you have little leftover dough after cutting, you can make a ball and roll another sheet out of it :-).
To make the lasagna, grease a baking dish with butter or oil and start with a layer of meat sauce. Then add a layer of your pasta and then a layer of cheese sauce and again a layer of pasta. Repeat until you reach the top of your baking dish or you run out of ingredients. Maybe it is best to stay just under the top of the dish to make sure the sauce does not go over the dish when you cook it.
When you finished your layers sprinkle a lot of cheese on top, yum.
Cook the lasagna in about 30 minutes. Sometimes it is best to cover the lasagna with some aluminum foil for the first 10 minutes to make sure the top does not get burned.
Notes from me and my Dad:
Pasta: You can also use dried pasta sheets to make lasagna. Make sure you put enough sauce between the pasta layers because the dry pasta will soak up a lot of moist when it cooks.
Leftover dough cuts: After you cut the pasta you have might have some leftover dough which you can just put together and use again by rolling it through the machine.
Extra: When you are cooking lasagna you might as well make extras. I sometimes even make an extra lasagna in a small dish and put it into the freezer, dish and all. Easy meal for time-poor days.