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Filtering by Tag: Italian

Birthday Dinner: Authentic Lasagna


Kimmy's birthday was this past Saturday and to celebrate, we invited friends over and all seven of us crammed around the kitchen table for some delicious food.

Do be warned though, the original recipe informs you that you should block out at least two hours to make this lasagna and I will second that. You can do the sauces the day before though, so I definitely recommend doing that.

That said, here are the recipes!

"Authentic" Lasagna (original recipe)

Note: This recipe is a work in progress as it has been scaled to make a larger pan.

Ingredients (makes one 9x13" pan)

  • 1 box no-boil lasagna sheet noodles (these are much easier to use when you're using a 9x13" pan.)
  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • 1 T salt
  • Ragù Sauce (recipe follows)
  • Béchamel Sauce (recipe follows)
  • 10-12 oz grated parmesan cheese (or mix of Italian cheeses)


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F and grease a 9x13" pan.
  2. Spoon enough Béchamel sauce to cover the bottom of the pan and repeat with the Ragú sauce.
  3. Cover the sauce with three lasagna sheets (or the requisite noodles).
  4. Spoon more Béchamel and Ragú over lasagna sheets. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over sauce.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you've made three other layers.
  6. After the final layer of noodles, top with Ragú and cheese and cover with pan with tin foil.
  7. Bake 20 min, remove tin foil, and continue baking until the cheese has browned slightly and a crust has formed.

Ragú Sauce (original recipe)


  • 2-3 T olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped (I skipped this)
  • 1 lb ground beef/turkey
  • 6oz can of tomato paste
  • 2 28oz cans of Italian crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • salt to taste


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, adding the onion, carrot and celery (if using) once the oil is hot. Fry to golden brown (guessing around 10 min., depending on the pot).
  2. Add the ground beef and mix with wooden spoon.
  3. After the beef has been browned, add the tomato paste and stir well until it's evenly mixed. Add salt to taste.
  4. Over low heat, pour the wine in and bring to boil. Add the cans of tomatoes, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water if the sauce gets too dry.

Béchamel Sauce (original recipe)


  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use.

Note: The resulting sauce is a fairly thin so adding a little more flour or corn starch might be necessary. Using as-is was fine though (and might even be good if you're using the no-boil noodles).