Jared and I love to eat lasagna. I’ve tried baking lasagna once, sometime back and it wasn’t a successful one. Lots of ingredients, not cheap with 3 different types of cheese, quite a bit of work and take a long time to prepare too.
After almost a year of staying away from baking lasagna, I decided to give it a try once again. Remembering what was good and what wasn’t from the first experience. The meat sauce was nice but the lasagna noodle was still hard.
1st lesson that I remembered is lots of ingredients to be prepared. I got Jared and Jaden to follow me to Hero Market and gave them the list of ingredients to purchase. Both of them were excited, did it like in amazing race, trying to compete who got the most items. I just followed them around, watched what they picked and ensure they were the right ones.
2nd lesson … it is quite expensive to bake lasagna with the 3 different types of cheese. I bought the cheeses from my favourite baking shop. It is cheaper. I’ve also changed the cheese sauce from using ricotta cheese recipe to cheddar cheese.
The ingredients below are good for 6 serving.
Ingredients for Meat Sauce:
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 300 g minced meat (chicken, beef or pork)
- 200 g sweet Italian sausage (remove out from skin)
- 1 can (400 g) crushed tomatoes (or replaced with 4 big tomatoes, cut into pieces)
- 100 g tomato paste
- 1/2 can (200 g) tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 2 dried basil leaves
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 6 lasagna noodles
Ingredients for Cheese Sauce:
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 cups of milk
- 125 g mozzarella or cheddar cheese
Ingredients for Cheese Topping:
- 170 g mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 30 g grated Parmesan cheese
- To cook meat sauce:
- In a pot, pour oil and cook carrot, onion and garlic over medium heat until soft.
- Add in meat and sausage and cook until well browned.
- Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato sauce.
- Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and parsley.
- Simmer covered for about 1.5 hours. Stirring occasionally.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water.
- For the cheese sauce:
- Melt butter in a separate saucepan
- Add in flour and cook for 1 minute over gentle heat
- Remove from heat and stir in milk
- Return to heat and stir until thick and smooth
- Season with salt and pepper
- Add in cheese and stir over the heat until cheese melts.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- To assemble,
- Spread 1 cup of meat sauce in the bottom of a lightly greased baking dish.
- Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce.
- Spread with one half of the cheese mixture.
- Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices.
- Spoon 1 cup meat sauce over mozzarella
- Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
- Repeat layers
- Top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese
- Cover with foil and ensure the foil does not touch the cheese to prevent sticking or spray foil with cooking spray
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake an additional 25 minutes.
- Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Baked lasagna on my favorite Pyrex baking dish. I like it for the right size, square and made of glass which allows me to see the food clearly.
Much successful lasagna for this 2nd attempt. The meat sauce was really delicious especially with the herbs and cheese used.
It took me about 4 hours to prepare and bake this lasagna. I don’t think I’ll bake it often but there’ll surely be 3rd time and more.