Where you want to go today? What about Italy?
What are the first things that immediately come to your mind thinking about Italy? Rome, the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps! Vatican , Pope, Vatican Museums! Venice, Water, Gondola! Art, Fashion, Soccer! Sicily, Mafia, Volcanoes (this is for the black-hearted here)! We can talk about Italy for days…
The first thing I think of is the Italian cuisine. You cannot go to Rome, see the Pope, climb the Spanish stairs, throw a coin at Trevi Fountain, and finally end the day with a delicious Pasta! But what exactly? You have a wide choice as there are so many types of pasta, however, my top 3 are spaghetti, cannelloni and the favorite of my entire family – lasagna. I will show you now my way of preparing this wonderful dish, but you can always experiment by adding your favorite products and removing things you do not like! Meat can predominate, but you can completely replace it with stewed spinach for example.
Let’s begin because I am already hungry! Here’s what you’ll need if you want to make my version of Lasagna. And to make it really delicious, first of all you need real Italian lasagna noodles! Do not make any compromises with it!
First are the sauces: Béchamel and Bolognese.
Products for Béchamel
- 50g. Butter
- 1/2 L warm milk
- 1/3 cup flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch ground nutmeg
Heat the milk in the microwave for 2 minutes. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, and then whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the warm milk and cook until thickened, whisking frequently, about 10 minutes. Add the nutmeg, garlic, salt, and pepper and set aside.
Products for Bolognese
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium carrot
- Tomatoes, freshly shredded or from a can, whatever you have. Of course the fresher the better! I have no measure for tomatoes because I love it and always put more!
- 300g Chicken breasts
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Fresh basil
- 1 pound grounded beef
Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add beef, chopped chicken breast and vegetables. Cook, breaking up meat with a spoon, until moisture is almost completely evaporated and meat is well browned, 25–30 minutes; season with salt, pepper and basil. Add tomatoes and let it chill for a few hours.
Spread 1/4 cup béchamel in the prepared baking dish. Top with a layer of noodles, spread over a scant 3/4 cup Bolognese sauce, then 1/2 cup béchamel, and top with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Repeat process at least 3 more times, starting with noodles and ending with Parmesan, for a total of 8 layers. Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake lasagna until bubbling and beginning to brown on top, 50–60 minutes. Let lasagna sit 45 minutes before serving.
Now cut a large piece and do not forget to pour yourself a glass of good wine-white or red whatever you prefer! And a pinch of love, without it nothing is real, especially if it’s Italian!
Welcome to Italy!
Silviya’s Iternational Cuisine