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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bolognese, Béchamel, Lasagna!

I am no food expert or chef...But I would say I'm a good cook. I made lasagna the other night and it was incredible. I made a small dish because when I usually make it, we have it sitting there in the fridge for days and days..It never seems to go away and I end up throwing a third of it away. Well with this lasagna, I wish I would've made more! It wasn't as heavy...Because I didn't put any cottage or ricotta cheese in it. I am not a big fan of those cheeses. I was talking to my European friend, who is an incredible cook, and he told me that when he has lasagna it's made with a Béchamel sauce. Sounds fancy, right? And most websites I found with this sort of recipe were European. Béchamel is less difficult to make than it is to pronounce. And I made a delicious Bolognese sauce I found from one of my faves, The Pioneer Woman. So here's what I did...

First I made the Bolognese...

 It was so YUMMY. Click here to get the recipe. I think the longer you can cook this the better. The flavors will get infused deliciously and the carrots will get nice and soft. You will have leftovers. I let it cool and then put my extras in a freezer bag for another lasagna...or Spaghetti.
Then the glorious Béchamel sauce! It was yum. Heat the pan to medium heat. You'll use equal parts flour and butter. I did 3 tbs each of butter and flour. Melt the butter first, then whisk in the flour. Then I added 2 cups of milk SLOWLY while whisking. I found that it was not getting as thick as I wanted to i just sprinkled a little flour in until it was the consistency I wanted. Then I added salt, pepper, and paprika to taste. Then I added 3/4 cup of a parmesan/mozz/asiago mix. I just bought a bag of that 6 Italian shredded cheese. Seems not fancy enough for Béchamel but I went the easy and cheap route, and it still was very delicious.

Next I boiled my lasagna noodles al dente then was ready to assemble. I don't really think there is a wrong way of assembling, or a set pattern to follow. Just do what makes sense to you. I put some béchamel at the bottom of the dish, then noodles, then more béchamel, then sprinkled cheese, then bolognese, then noodles, then béchamel, bolognese, cheese, noodles, béchamel, bolognese, cheese, noodles, béchamel, cheese. Bake at 350 for about an hour. I would keep it covered until the last 20 minutes.

I wish I would of snapped a pic of the finished product before we devoured it...But i didn't. As you can see it was very much devoured, and enjoyed :)

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