Four cheese lasagna

Lasagna to me is the very definition of comfort food. I am not just talking about eating it, preparing it is the part I enjoy the most. The aroma that fills the house, the different herbs and components are simply irresistible.

A dear friend of mine who is truly the queen of lasagna taught me this recipe. My only additions to the recipe are the layer or ricotta and adding oregano and nutmeg to the bechamel sauce, the result: the best lasagna you’ll ever taste. A big claim ,I  know, but I  urge you to give  this a try and judge for your self

Four cheese lasagna

400-500 Grams minced beef

 1 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil

 1 large onion chopped 

 2 cloves garlic minced

 1 large red tomatoes, peeled and cut in small cubes

1 large red or green Pepper chopped

 1 large carrot, peeled and grated

2 tablespoons tomato paste

 Salt

 Black Pepper

 1 teaspoon oregano

 1 teaspoon  Basil 

( or use Italian seasoning  instead of the oregano and basil if available)

for the bechamel sauce

 4 tablespoons flour

 4 tablespoons  butter

 4 cups of liquid milk 

 white or black pepper

1 tablespoon of grated cheddar cheese or cream cheese

1-2 tablespoon grated parmesan

1 teaspoon oregano (optional)

  nutmeg (optional)

 mozzarella

1 cup ricotta cheese (optional but you can find the recipe for home made ricotta here)

Directions

Soak your pasta in boiling water for 2-5 minutes instead of boiling it

 Heat the oil in a pot,add onions and garlic, stir for 5 minutes until the onions become tender 

Add the minced meat and stir until the meat starts changing color

 Add chopped tomatoes and stir until they soften then add the tomato paste

If you feel the mix is dry (if the tomatoes you used are not juicy) add a little boiling water

 Add salt, herbs and black pepper and stir

 Add the grated carrots and stir for two minutes

Add pepper and stir for a couple of minutes then allow to cook over medium low heat for 5 minutes to make sure all the flavors come together.

Prepare the béchamel

Heat oil or butter in a pot

 Add the flour and stir until the color begins to change(you don’t want it to go dark or else it will affect the final color of the bechamel sauce)

Lower the heat

 Add the milk gradually  while whisking .(you need to whisk until you have added all the milk to prevent lumps from forming)

Keep stirring until the béchamel thickens

Add the cheese mixture and stir for two minutes

Assemble the lasagna

In a baking dish add a thin layer of Bechamel

Then add one layer of pasta followed by the meat mixture

and grated mozzarella cheese then top with a layer of pasta then spread the ricotta cheese.

 then repeat your layers (pasta, meat, mozzarella)

when you have added your last layer of pasta top it with  bechamel and cheese

Center your oven rack

Bake in a  pre-heated oven (200 C or 450 F)  for about 45 minutes

The top usually get golden brown during baking but if it doesn’t you can turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes

Allow the lasagna to cool for 20-30 minutes to allow it to set

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