My late grandmother loved to cook, and I mean really loved to cook. Every time I went over to see her she never asked ‘How are you doing?’. She always asked if I was hungry. In her Italian way it was like her asking me how I was.
I used to spend my summers with her, and she taught me the old ways of cooking. Making pasta from scratch like her. She also taught me how to do her amazing lasagna. I want to share that recipe with you.
What made her lasagna so great was her homemade pasta dough. I will tell you step by step how to make the dough - if you want or you can skip this I will understand completely. Just make sure to either use fresh pasta that you can buy from store or local market.
4 cups of flour
1 cup of water
On a clean surface pile the 4 cups of flour on top of each other to create a mountain.
Make an indent on the pile and place your eggs, salt, and mix together.
Add water to the mixture in splashes until it starts to form dough. If the dough is too sticky add more flour, and if it is not forming add more water.
Roll out the dough into sheets - no more than 1/16” thick 8” - 10” long. If you have a pasta maker - great, if not the old school method of rolling pin works as well. You will probably have about 5 sheets of pasta.
You will want to lay them out to dye for a bit. I recommend placing them on a tea towel and sprinkle more flour. Do not place on top of each other or else it will be one big mess.
The secret to the lasagna is all in the layers. There is many ways to making lasagna - some like it with a bechamel cream sauce. For me personally I don’t, but don’t let that stop you from adding it. I will show you were to add it if you like.
1 lb of lean ground beef
500g of mozzarella
2 stocks of celery
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 can of crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup of water
Shred the mozzarella, celery, and carrots.
In a sauce pan combine onion, garlic, crushed tomatoes and water. Add salt and pepper for taste. Let simmer for 20 - 30 mins. In the meantime you can cook the ground beef in the next step.
In a large pan sear the ground beef and the shred carrots and celery. Until the beef is cooked.
In a small bowl whisk the egg and then set aside.
Now we will start to layer the lasagna. Pull out the medium baking tray. Take a scoop of the tomato sauce and spread it across the base of the baking tray. Place a sheet of pasta on top, and layer on another scoop of tomato sauce. Then layer on a scoop of ground beef, then cheese, and then drizzle a little of the egg wash. Repeat again for another 2 layers. Now if you want to put the bechamel cream sauce put it as your top layer of the lasagna.
Once you reach the top of your lasagna sprinkle a big pile of cheese.
Place the tray in the oven on 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Serve your lasagna with some garlic bread and salad. ENJOY!