The name, lasagne or lasagna, is derived from the Greek word ‘laganon’ which is the first known ancient form of pasta. A recipe for lasagne was found in a 1396 British recipe book. Lasagne as we know it today with its many variations is, I believe, considered to be of Italian origin.
Lasagne is versatile, easy to make, and can be bulked up to feed a crowd. Served with a large, mixed salad, lasagne is an attractive and balanced meal.
At one stage lasagne was a Saturday night favorite in our home when children and friends needed some solid food after a busy day of sport and other fun Saturday activities. After many years I have now, via the grapevine, been asked to please write down this lasagne recipe!
The crowds have dwindled but lasagne is still worth making – left-overs can be portioned and frozen for easy meals.
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomato in purée
- ¾ stick (3 ounces) butter
- ½ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 cups milk
- 1½-2 cups shredded cheese – sharp flavored
- 9 sheets, approximately, oven-ready (no-boil) lasagna sheets
- Make the meat sauce by heating the oil in a pan and browning the onion and beef.
- When dry and crumbly, add the seasoning and tomato.
- Mix, cover and set aside to simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Make the white sauce by melting the butter in a medium-sized saucepan, and stirring in the flour, salt and nutmeg.
- Lower the temperature and mix in the milk.
- Heat over medium heat, while stirring, until the sauce thickens.
- Add about half a cup of cheese and mix. Any lumpiness in the sauce should disappear as the cheese melts.
- Layer the meat sauce, lasagna sheets and cheese sauce respectively in thirds, into a suitable oven-proof dish – 8x11-inches, works well – ending with the white sauce.
- Sprinkle with remaining cheese, cover lightly with foil, and place on a foil-lined baking sheet (to catch any possible spills).
- Bake at 350˚F for about 45 minutes.