The Best Lasagna Ever
I can’t remember where I got this lasagna recipe, sadly. It was probably online and I don’t think I’ve changed much in it.
1 lb. box of dried lasagna noodles or 12 oz. box of jumbo shells
2 tablespoons butter
2 slices bacon, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 lb. lean ground beef
3 1/2 ounces minced ham
1 small can tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 can beef stock
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups warm milk
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 2/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese
32 oz. ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons butter
1. For the ragu: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Saute bacon, carrot, celery and onion until onion is translucent. Stir in ground beef and minced ham, and cook until browned. Stir in tomato paste, oregano and beef stock. Season with salt and pepper, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Set aside.
2. For the bechamel: While the ragu is simmering, combine 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons flour in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk to make a roux. Remove from heat, let rest one minute, then whisk in warm milk. Return to heat, simmer 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Season with salt and nutmeg and remove from heat. Set aside
3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Remove from the boiling water
and dip in the ice water; drain and dry on a clean, dry cloth.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 baking dish.
5. To assemble lasagna: Cover bottom of pan with pasta. Spread 1/2 of the ragu, 1/3 of the bechamel, Â½ of the ricotta, and 1/3 of the parmesan over the pasta. Repeat layers. Top with remaining bechamel and parmesan and dot with butter. (If you’re doing stuffed shells, cover bottom of pan with shells stuffed with mixture of ricotta and parmesan cheese, reserving 2/3 cup parmesan for sprinking, cover with ragu, then pour bechamel over in a pretty manner. Sprinkle with leftover parmesan, dot with butter, and bake as below.)
6. Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes, until top is golden brown.