With high school soccer starting tomorrow (where did the summer go?!), I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time for cooking this week. Thus, I needed to make something that would last me the majority of the week, and re-heat nicely. Lasagna sounded like the perfect dish for the occasion (not to mention I haven’t made it in forever!).
Now usually I make my lasagna American style, with ricotta or cottage cheese (substitution courtesy of my dear friend Kalyn) and mozzarella. Tonight was a little different though. I had stopped at the Farmer’s Market Saturday morning and picked up an array of peppers, zucchini, and fresh spinach (among other things!). I also ran across a traditional Italian “Lasagne Al Forno” recipe. Never having made my own Besciamella sauce (think creamy cheese sauce), I decided to give it a try.
This lasagna is loaded with veggies, packed full of protein, and has plenty of calcium (especially with both spinach and dairy!).
Here’s my recipe for an entirely clean, amazingly delicious, traditional Lasagne al Forno:
Traditional Italian Lasagne al Forno
|Cook time||40 minutes|
|Meal type||Main Dish|
|Misc||Freezable, Serve Hot|
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (organic preferably )
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2lb ground beef or Italian sausage (cooked and drained )
- 28 oz whole tomatoes (peels on or removed )
- 4 1/2 cups milk (preferably organic)
- 7 tablespoons butter (local or organic)
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 7 tablespoons flour
- 1 red bell pepper (diced)
- 1 green bell pepper (diced)
- 1 orange bell pepper (diced )
- 1 zucchini (diced )
- 2 cups spinach leaves (organic preferably)
- 2 cups parmesan cheese (finely grated)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- Don't let your besciamella sauce burn! Be sure to whisk frequently and watch the heat.
- Make this vegetarian by omitting the ground beef or sausage.
- You may use whole peeled tomatoes or leave the peels on for more texture.
- Using whole milk will ensure a thick creamy consistency.
- Cooking time may vary. Lasagna is typically done when sauce and cheeses are bubbling and dish is starting to brown.