Mary’s Lasagna

You will need:

      Pan about l0 x l3  inches

       Tomato Sauce (about 4  cups)

       Béchamel Sauce

      Lasagna strips (I use l2 of the ordinary ruffled ones)

      Parmesan cheese

Tomato Sauce (make your own , get your mother to make some or use a good quality canned tomato sauce)

To make your own:

      2 cups chopped onion   

      3 cloves garlic, chopped

      3 tablespoons olive oil

      3 1/2 cups canned Italian-style plum tomatoes, undrained (2 l9-oz cans)

      2 small cans tomato paste

      2 cups water or meat broth (approximately--if you want a thick sauce, use less)

      1 bay leaf

      l/2 tspn salt

      l/4 tspn pepper

      l/2 tspn oregano or half oregano, half basil

Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until golden brown, stirring often.

Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water, bay leaf, salt and pepper.  Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about two hours. Add water if necessary.

Add the oregano and continue cooking for fifteen minutes.  You can use this over spaghetti, for eggplant parmigiana, meat loaf, soups or stews.  Freezes very well.

Béchamel Sauce:

      6 tablespoons butter

      6 tablespoons flour

      3 cups milk, half & half mixed with the milk, a combination of milk and heavy cream, or whatever you have on hand.

      Nutmeg

      Salt and pepper

Melt the butter, add the flour and stir over heat until blended.  Add the milk , stirring constantly to blend and constantly until mixture reaches a boil and thickens.  If you have not had experience with cream sauces, it might be best to heat the milk separately and then add to butter -flour mixture.  Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste and then add nutmeg to taste.  The béchamel sauce should be tasty!

To assemble lasagna,

      Cook pasta and lay out strips on a towel.

      Oil pan (I use a tiny bit of olive oil).

     

      Cover bottom of pan with a layer of tomato sauce.

     

      Put four strips of pasta over sauce.

                             

      Cover with tomato sauce.  Cover tomato sauce with a layer of béchamel sauce.

      Sprinkle some parmesan cheese over and

 

      Repeat  twice. 

      You will use up all the béchamel sauce and most or all of four cups of tomato sauce.  Put most of the béchamel sauce in the first two layers and only leave enough

for a light “masking” of the top.

      Sprinkle top with parmesan cheese and it’s ready for the oven.

      Bake at 375 degrees if you are using a metal pan; 350 degrees if it is a glass dish, for 35 to 45 minutes, until it is brown and bubbly on top.  Let it rest for ten minutes before serving.

      This all sounds  very complicated but if you make the tomato sauce ahead (I keep some in the freezer at all times), cooking the pasta and making the béchamel or white sauce is easy when you are ready to put it together.   You can also refrigerate it after it is assembled and bake it when convenient.  Remember to let it come to room temperature before putting it in oven or it will take a lot longer to bake