Lasagne (or Lasagna) is a layered food dish from Italy. The word comes from the Latin lasanum, which actually means a chamber-pot, though it later came to mean a cooking pot. Lasagne is found by most people to be quite tasty, and is best served hot, with garlic bread. It is a relatively simple food to prepare, but some experimentation may offer benefits with regard to individual taste and preferences. (Note: experimentation should be carried out only after thorough familiarisation with the method of preparation.)
- 1lb of ground beef
- Half a white onion
- A quarter of a red onion
- 3-4 cloves fresh garlic
- 24oz of tomato sauce
- 9 strips of uncooked Lasagne pasta
- 1 teaspoon of basil
- 1 tablespoon of oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pack of Mozzarella cheese, grated
- 2 eggs
- 12oz of Ricotta cheese
- A quarter cup of grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, Gas Mark 4).
Dice up all the onions and garlic, and sauté in a large saucepan (a big cast-iron skillet works well) for a few minutes, then crumble in the ground beef. Brown the beef/onion mixture, adding basil and oregano. When ground beef is well browned, drain off any excess grease, add the tomato sauce, and simmer, adding salt and pepper to taste.
While the sauce is simmering, in a bowl, mix the Ricotta cheese, the two whole eggs, and the Parmesan cheese all together, stirring well. Take a baking dish (preferably close in size to 13" x 9", or 12" x 7") and brush lightly with oil (this makes clean-up easier!). Cover bottom of baking dish thinly with tomato/meat sauce. Cover this with uncooked lasagne - should be three pieces lengthwise. On top of the Lasagna add more meat sauce, and a layer of the Ricotta cheese mixture. Sprinkle grated Mozzarella cheese over this. Lay another layer of pasta and repeat layering. On top of the second layer add Lasagne, what is left of the meat sauce, and the remainder of the Mozzarella. Cover the dish with baking foil, and bake for 30-40 minutes, until brown and bubbling.
Aubergine Lasagne - Instead of the meat, use aubergines, fried until soft and lightly browned, sprinkled with basil, oregano and grated cheese. For a topping, combine a beaten egg with some yoghurt, add grated cheese and seasoning, and pour over the Lasagne before you put it in the oven.
Broccoli and Carrot Lasagne - Chop broccoli and carrots and steam till tender. Make a sauce from Cream of Mushroom soup, Parmesan, cottage cheese, garlic and rosemary, and add the vegetables. Use this instead of the meat sauce.
Sprinkle top with cheeses and paprika before baking. Or try making the Perfect Cheese Sauce.
At Your Convenience
Lasagne can be prepared in advance, and frozen for later thawing and eating. It can also be made with store-bought, ready-made meat sauce or other sauces. At a pinch it can be prepared without the eggs, onions, garlic, or seasoning, but it won't taste very good.