Tag Cloud
1950s television Alsace animal behavior Asbestoses Bakewell Tart baking banana coconut upside down cake bananas Barefoot Contessa beach beans beauty beer can chicken Ben E King blueberry Book Review Boom De Ya Da Bradenton Florida cabbage cake canine lung worm carrot salad casserole cassoulet Celebrity Constellation Celebrity cruiseline cheese chicken chicken and dumplings chicken fricasse'e Chicken Salad chicken thighs chihuahua chocolate christmas pudding coconut commercialization of Christmas Condor Ferries contrived ignorance cooking video Cornwall COSTCO cottage pie couscous Cream of Tortilla Soup Cream Recipes cream teas crockpot croutons cruise ship menu cultural awareness current event Curry Dauphinoise Potatoes decorating desserts Dick and Jane Ding Dong School Dinner Discovery Channel diversity dog psychology dogs Easy Recipes eggs enamel coated cast iron English Cooking English trains Enzos on the Lake Epcot extrovert Fall Food Fast Easy Fresh Fennel Recipes fish florida food preparation France Frances Horwich French cooking fresh green beans Fresh Market fresh pasta fresh vegetables fruit tart gardening genital euphenisms George Pullman grandchildren greek yogurt grilling ground lamb ground beef guardian ad litem ham hocks Handicaps Havanese healthy food home decorating how to clean leeks I Have a Dream Ina Garten Indian food introvert Italian Cooking Italian Food IVIG Kix Cereal lamb lamb curry lamb palak lamb shahi khorma lamb shanks Lasagna leek and potato soup Leeks leftovers literacy love song low-carb main course Mallomars Marissa Tomei marriage Martha Stewart Martin Luther King Mary Oliver Meat Recipes meatloaf mental illness Michael Portillo Mickey Rourke Miss Frances modern omelet monkey bread Moroccan muffins Mushroom Recipes Mushrooms Nelsonian knowledge New England Style Cooking Nixon NY Times Obama one dish meal onion tart onions oscar nominated pack dominance pack leadership pakora parenting Parmesan Recipes pasta pate brisee Paula Deen peach cake Peeps peppermint bark photo photography photos pina colada monkey bread pineapple poached poem polish cooking politics poverty pullman dining car raspberries recipe recipes refrigerated rolls riding the rails roast chicken Rush Libaugh RV lifestyle salad Sally Field salmon Samsung Appriances Sand Hill Crane Sand Sculpture Sausage Recipes sausages Schizophrenia school children hear Obama speak self-perception shepherd's pie Siesta Key Florida snails souffle soup South Florida spaghetti squash Spinach St. Malo Stand By Me Whistle Blower summer meal sweet bread Taffy Tandoori cooking Technology Ted talks The Help theme park This Was the Week That Was Tin Can Tourist Tom Gross transatlantic cruise travel trailer tropical plants UK UK Guardian article urban blight Valentine's Day vegetables vegetaria video VIMEO viseo welsh terrier white blood cell count wild salmon Willful Blindness Willful Ignorance wood look porcelain tile World Showcase Youtube Youtube video zucchini Zuni Cafe Roast Chicken

« The Cat, The Bag, The Story | My Husband Must Be a Bigamist »

Fresh Pasta European Style Lasagna

Months and months ago I promised to write up this recipe. I got distracted and forgot. This is a recipe for a very different type of lasagna than the type of lasagna most Americans make. I generically refer to it as a European Lasagna. The huge difference, in my mind, between European style and American style lasagnas is that American lasagnas, as I know them, use ricotta cheese blended with eggs, parsley, basil, salt, pepper, a bit of parmesan and a tige of sugar as a main ingredient. European Lasagna uses a scrumptious Bechamel sauce in place of the ricotta mixture. The substitution of the Bechamel for ricotta renders a less heavy, solid lasagna. When cut, the lasagna is slippery rather than chunky and blocky. Or, to quote my daugher-in-law when I served it last night at dinner, "Oh, it's silky and wonderful."

There is one further twist to this lasagna. The noodles are made with fresh pasta. WAIT!!! Don't panic. There is a cheat here, a fabulous work around. While my younger self might have slaved away rolling dough into paper thin lasagna noodle ribbons., I don't have the hands for it any more. I have, in the past, used Ronzoni no-boil lasagna noodles. They're good. They are not as rubbery as the lasagna noodles that must be boiled. But still, neither are fresh, certainly neither are paper thin. I have now discovered fresh Egg Roll Wrappers. Yes, you read that correctly. I find them in the fresh produce section of the grocery. They are sheets of fresh pasta, thin and lovely

There are only four basic components to the lasagna...the ragu (red sauce), the bechamel (white sauce), the pasta, the cheeses, the meat. OK...that's five, but except for my process in the case of this particular lasagna, the meat is really part of the ragu in most cases.

The Ragu

Listen, even though I make my sauce from scratch because it's so easy, if you have a jar sauce that you like, use it. I mean, I wouldn't, but you do what you conscience dictates. If you want to try my sauce recipe, it's easy.

2 cans San Marzano Crushed Tomatoes. I use these because I prefer a sweet sauce.

1 medium onion, diced

2 large cloves garlic, diced

some bay leaf (Laurel)

Fresh Basil (I keep Basil plants and usually grab 2 big branches)

salt and pepper

a glug of a deep red wine

about 3/4 cup of a good parmesan cheese (I use shredded grana padano and I throw in a rind of parmigana reggiano that I buy at Publix. They sell the rinds that would normally be waste. They're terrific for sauces and soups).

1 Tablespoon sugar

I sautee the onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent, not browned.  Add everything else and simmer for a few hours.  I don't chop the Basil.  I just add it whole and then remove it at the end.

Bechamel Sauce

4 T unsalted butter (1/2 stick)

4 T flour

3 cups whole milk




Melt butter, stir in flour, cook a bit.  Add milk and spices, stir until thick and bubbly.

I added browned ground round to my sauce and I also browned up some Italian sausage.  We're carnivores.


Lightly spray bottom of lasagna pan with oil.  Spread a thin layer of ragu.  Top with a layer of egg roll sheets.  Trim to fit if necessary.  Spread with a very thin layer of Bechamel.  Sprinkle with shredded Mozzarella and shreadded quality parmesan cheeses.  Sprinkle with the sausage pieces.  Top with a thin layer of ragu.  Keep repeating layers ending with ragu and more cheese on top.

Cover tightly with foil.  Do not allow foil to touch the lasagna.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer.  Shut oven off and leave lasagna 10 more minutes with door ajar.

Reader Comments (1)

I like the idea of sausage meat in it
sounds good

March 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShirley

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>