Classic cheesy comfort food. The meat sauce is also good on its own with whole-wheat pasta or zucchini noodles, if you’re trying to eat healthier.
- 2 large carrots, grated
- 2 celery stalks, grated
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 can tomatoes, diced, notdrained (400 mL)
- 1 can tomato paste (156 mL)
- Splash of Worcestershire sauce (3-5 drips from the bottle)
- ⅛ cup beef stock
- 1-2 tsp Italian herb blend (e.g., basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme)
Other crucial ingredients
- 1 box ready-to-bake lasagna sheets*
- 8 oz. mozzarella, grated
Optional Béchamel sauce
I don’t bother to make this sauce. It’s unhealthy and I like the lasagna just as much without it—plus it’s easier when you only have to make one sauce. But if you insist on having a traditional lasagna with both red and white sauce, here it is.
1½ pints milk
1 bay leaf
3 oz. butter
3 oz. flour
3 oz. Jarlsberg cheese, grated
Salt and pepper
For the optional Béchamel sauce:
Well, my mom’s recipe says, “Warm milk slowly with bay leaf. Make sauce with butter, flour, and milk. Beat in cheese and s&p.”
Since “make sauce” isn’t a very precise instruction, you could follow the steps in this epicurious recipe instead. Again, though, I’ve never bothered to make it, since I don’t enjoy mildly cheesy milk gloop.
For the meat sauce:
In a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat, cook meat, chopped onion, celery, and carrots until meat is browned. The vegetables will cook in the fat from the meat, but if there’s a lot of fat, pour off the excess.
Add all remaining ingredients—tomatoes (including liquid from the can), tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, stock, and herbs—stir to mix, and bring to a boil. (This is why you need a large saucepan—so it doesn’t boil over at this stage.)
Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
For the lasagna:
In a 9 x 13″ glass dish, pour a third of the meat sauce and spread evenly. Place a layer of pasta sheets on top of the meat sauce; you may need to break up some of the pasta pieces to get them to fit.
Pour on another third of the meat sauce, add another layer of pasta, and repeat for 3 layers total.
Sprinkle mozzarella evenly on top.
Bake at 350° F (176° C) for 40 min, or until pasta is tender and cheese topping is crispy and golden.