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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Traditional Lasagna with Garlic Parmesan Bechamel Sauce

I don't make lasagna often, it's rather labor intensive.  But when I do make it, I tend to go all out.  The husband had a couple of days off last week and when that happens he usually likes a hearty meal.  I figured lasagna is probably one of the heartiest of them all!  Plus, it's one of his favorites.

I should also tell you that I never make lasagna the same way.  Every single time it is different.  Sometimes I stick strictly to meat, sauce and cheese.  Sometimes I throw in zucchini, ricotta and mushrooms.  Other times I do a white version and use shredded chicken, garlic and veggies.

This past week it was more of the traditional kind - meat sauce and cheese, but with the added twist of a garlic Parmesan bechamel sauce.

Oh my gosh.  So good.

If I can give one tip on making lasagna....make it the day before you want to eat it.  Not only does it save time the night you are eating, but it allows the flavors to all melt together.  You know how chili always tastes better the next day?  I think the same goes for lasagna.

Traditional Lasagna with Garlic Parmesan Bechamel Sauce
16 lasagna noodles {use the no-cook variety or regular}
1 lb. hamburger or sausage
6 c. marinara sauce
4 c. mozzarella cheese
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 c. milk
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
salt, pepper

Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan.  Brown meat and drain grease.  Add in marinara sauce, keep on a simmer.  If needing to cook lasagna noodles, cook until al dente, rinse and set aside.  If using no-cook noodles, take out of the package and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt butter.  Sprinkle in flour, whisk together with butter and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.  Slowly add in milk and whisk.  Once it starts to thicken, add in garlic and Parmesan cheese.  Continue to whisk until mixture is thick.  Take off the heat and set aside.

Layer 1: meat sauce, noodles, meat sauce, 1/2 of mozzarella cheese.
Layer 2: noodles, meat sauce, bechamel sauce
Layer 3: noodles, meat sauce, remaining mozzarella cheese

Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove the cover and bake another 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Or keep covered and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Have any big plans for your weekend?

We're staying at home.  Boring weekend for us!

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