Recipes from my childhood #01: my Mom’s lasagna

Recipes from my childhood #01: my Mom’s lasagna

I guess that every family has that recipe that’s asked of someone over and over. For us, it’s my Mom’s Lasagna.
Not only it’s my daughter Kai’s favourite (she would eat it weekly if she could), but it’s also my cousin’s most requested dish from my Mom.

Watch Kai & I make this dish:

The few things I tweaked:

I have this habit of adding (some would say “hiding”) veggies wherever I can… For the lasagna, I add plenty in the meat sauce.
I also often make a vegetarian version in which I substitute the ground meat for cooked lentils. It’s as delicious (and makes me feel less guilty, I admit…).
I really like the blend I share in this video: zucchini, carrots and mushrooms. Garlic and onion are staples you can’t omit.

In addition, I also add some white miso in order to have even more depth. It’s completely optional, but if you have some in your fridge, give it a try.

My Mom’s lasagna (almost)

Nolwenn Barre Petitbois
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Comfort Food, Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 personnes

Equipment

  • Instant Pot or a big pot
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Wooden spoon
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Grater if you're using whole nutmeg
  • Gratin dish Try to find one where your lasagna noodles will fit
  • Rubber spatula

Ingredients
  

Meat sauce

  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil or any neutral tasting oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 200 g Mushrooms I eyeball so it's an approximate
  • 9 sheets oven-ready lasagna It depends on your dish's size
  • Paprika Smoked or not
  • ¼ Tsp Cinnamon powder
  • ¼ Tsp Nutmeg grated
  • ½ Tsp Thyme or herbes de Provence
  • Salt To taste
  • 1 Tsp White miso
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato paste
  • 500 ml Tomato purée To adjust depending on the conistency
  • 1 bouillon cube optional
  • 500 g ground meat Use your preferred one

Béchamel (White) sauce

  • 60 g Butter
  • 60 g AP flour
  • 500 ml Milk
  • Salt & Pepper To taste
  • Grated nutmeg To taste

Bonuses

  • Grated parmesan
  • Shredded mozzarella

Instructions
 

Meat sauce

  • Peel and cut all the veggies. You can use a food processor to cut out some time. The veggies should all be about the same size for even cooking.
  • If you're using an Instant Pot: Push the "Sauté" mode button. Add the oil.
  • Sauté the onion and garlic. (Keep an eye on it so it won't burn.)
  • Once translucent and fragrant, add all the other veggies. Mix.
  • Let it cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the ground meat. With a wooden spoon, seperate it into smaller chunks.
  • Before the meat is fully cooked, add the spices, salt and bouillon cube if using.
  • Add the tomato paste and the miso.
  • Mix well so eveything is properly combined.
  • Then, add the tomato purée and a little bit of water. You don't want to add because the pressure cooking will create some.
  • Cancel the Instant Pot "Sauté" function.
  • Put the lid on, and verify the valve is set on "Sealing".
  • Select the "Meat/Stew" program. Adjust the cooking time to 30mn at high pressure.
  • NOTE: if you are using the traditional stovetop cooking method, let it simmer at medium/low heat for 45 to 60mn. Checking regularly that it's not sticking at the bottom.
  • Once the cooking time is over, let it release the pressure naturally for about 5mn before turning the valve (careful: the vapor that will escape can burn you).
    Cancel the program (otherwise, it will activate the "Keep warm" setting).

Béchamel

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  • Add the flour.
    Blend the two until it forms a homogeneous "ball". Let it cook for about a minute, so you avoid that nasty flour taste.
  • Progressively add the milk. Don't add it all at once.
    Whisk to avoid lumps.
  • When the sauce has thickened up to the desired consistency, you can check it with a wooden spoon: dip it in the sauce, then trace a path with your finger. If the trail stays as it is, your sauce is ready.
  • Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  • Set aside.

Assembly

  • Preheat your oven at 375°F.
  • In a rectangular gratin dish, add a small amount of meat sauce.
  • Cover with lasagna noodle sheets.
  • Then layer some white sauce.
  • Some meat sauce.
  • Finally, sprinkle some parmesan cheese.
  • Repeat this montage.
  • Your last layer should be composed of only béchamel sauce topping a layer of noodles.
    Finish it with some shredded cheese.
  • Put in the oven for about 35-45 minutes. If it is getting too brown, cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  • Once cooked, let it rest on the counter for about 10-15mn before serving.
Keyword Béchamel, Comfort Food, Ground Meat, Instant Pot, Pasta
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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