Anyway, when I called over the weekend and invited them, my plan was to serve something simple and relatively easy. A big pan of lasagna, salad and bread. Easy. Filling. Satisfying.
Yesterday, Sunday, we awoke to thunder storms that literally lasted hours. Drenching rain and dreary skies. A perfect day to spend cooking away in the kitchen.
Instead of throwing together a quick and easy pan of lasagna using a plain old jarred marina sauce ~ good quality, of course! ~ I decided to look through a few of my many recipe books for something a little special or with a twist. And because it was a stormy, dreary Sunday morning, having some yummy homemade mariana bubbling on the stove for a few hours would be perfect.
Of course, the first book I start with is Giada's book, Everyday Italian. When I turned to her recipe for Classic Lasagna, I knew right away that was recipe I'd making. Her recipe incorporates the use of a béchamel sauce. I don't think I've ever heard of, or consciously knew of eating, lasagna made with béchamel. In this recipe the béchamel sauce is mixed with the marinara sauce before the assembly process begins. It creates a rich but subtle-tasting blush-like sauce.
|Photo from Food Network|
|This pic was snapped when the lasagna was cold. If I'd planned better, and taken a picture of it warm, you'd be drooling at the site of the bubbly cheese and rich sauce. Just try and use your imagination! LOL|
This was THE best lasagna I've ever had. Everyone raved about it. Well, about as much as my family "raves" about food. It was creamy, cheesy, without a strong tomatoey flavor. It certainly took quite a bit longer than the quick, lazy route I had originally planned to take, but it was sooo worth the time and effort.
In Giada's book, she gives the béchamel, marina and lasagna recipes in separate areas of the book. That would be an awful lot of typing for me here to share the entire recipe with you all. I thought it would be easier to try and find the recipes online and refer the links. However, in the few different places I found her recipe, it was not exactly the same as in her Everyday Italian book.
In her book, she instructs you to make (unless you've made ahead) the béchamel and marina sauces. Using 2-/12 cups of the béchamel and 1-1/2 cups of marina, combine them, and then use that combined sauce when assembling the lasagna. As you'll see from the link I provided at Food Network's site, that's not really specified.
I'm sure if you try this recipe, you and your family will not be disappointed. It was time consuming, but it's such a great make-ahead dish, and we have some yummy leftovers in the frig and freezer.
Click on the link below to go directly to Food Network's site to view Giada's recipe.
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