Real Recipe: Traditional Italian Lasagne al Forno

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

Serves 6
Cook time 40 minutes
Allergy Milk, Wheat
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Freezable, Serve Hot
Region Italian
A delicious, traditional Italian "Lasagna al Forno"! Can easily be made vegetarian.

Ingredients

  • 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

Note

  1. Don't let your besciamella sauce burn! Be sure to whisk frequently and watch the heat.
  2. Make this vegetarian by omitting the ground beef or sausage.
  3. You may use whole peeled tomatoes or leave the peels on for more texture.
  4. Using whole milk will ensure a thick creamy consistency.
  5. Cooking time may vary. Lasagna is typically done when sauce and cheeses are bubbling and dish is starting to brown.

Directions

Tomato Sauce
Step 1
Saute garlic, onion, bell peppers, and zucchini in oil. Add pre-cooked beef or italian sausage.
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Step 2
Add white wine and let evaporate.
Step 3
Add tomatoes and bring to boil. Simmer for approx. 45 minutes (or until tomatoes are completely broken down), breaking tomatoes into small pieces as you stir.
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Step 4
Add milk and cook for approx. 15 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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Besciamella Sauce
Step 5
Melt butter into saucepan, slowly stir in flour while whisking over low heat for about 2 minutes.
Step 6
Slowly pour in milk, adjusting heat to allow sauce to bubble.
Step 7
Add nutmeg and 1/2 tsp. salt. Whisk for about 5 minutes or until sauce thickens.
Cooking Noodles
Step 8
Cook noodles according to package (with a drop of olive oil in water to prevent sticking!)
Lasagne Preparation
Step 9
Cover bottom of 9" x 13" glass baking dish with 1/4 cup tomato sauce (or more as needed!) and place one layer of noodles on top. Layer with spinach.
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Step 10
Spread approx. 1/3 cup besciamella sauce over spinach.
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Step 11
Cover with approx. 1/4 cup tomato sauce and 1/2 cup parmesan.
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Step 12
Repeat for 3 layers. Add remaining tomato sauce and parmesan cheese over top.
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Baking
Step 13
Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
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Trackbacks

  1. […] I used some of my zucchini in the lasagna last week (click here for recipe!), I still had a couple pieces left. So, after browsing some recipes online this week, I decided […]

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