Lasagna may seem like an intricate and complicated dish, but it's really quite straightforward, and the essence of comfort food and familiarity.
Yield: serves 6-8
Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
- 3 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 yellow onions, finely chopped
- 2 lb. ground beef
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 1⁄4 cup tomato paste
- 2 (28-oz.) cans whole peeled tomatoes, puréed
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 3 cups ricotta cheese
- 2 1⁄2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 lb. lasagna sheets
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Heat olive oil in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high. Add the garlic and onions and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the beef and pork and cook until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook 2 minutes longer. Add the tomatoes and sugar and simmer until thick, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Melt the butter over medium-high. Add the flour and cook 2 minutes. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until sauce is the consistency of thick cream, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly, then combine with the ricotta, half the mozzarella, salt, and pepper.
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add lasagna sheets and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain, then toss gently with olive oil.
- Heat oven to 375°. Drizzle some oil in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Lay three sheets of lasagna on the bottom of the baking dish. Spread 1 cup of bechamel evenly over pasta and 2 cups of meat sauce. Top with 3 more sheets of pasta and continue layering with bechamel and meat sauce. Once you get to the final layer, top with remaining 1 cup of meat sauce and mozzarella cheese, plus the parmesan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and change oven to broil. Cook lasagna another 5 minutes and remove from oven. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.