LASAGNE AL FORNO WITH GROUND MEAT AND VEGETABLES
Ingredients (4 servings): 1 package Lasagne
- 1⁄2 kg ground beef
- 7 eggplants (medium-sized)
- 9 zucchini (medium-sized)
- 400 ml or 3 cups milk
- 3 large tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 50 g. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 large onion
- 2 large ripe tomatoes
- 100 ml or half a cup of chicken stock or chicken stock cube dissolved in half a cup of pasta water
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1⁄2 teaspoon (a pinch) cinnamon
- 2 star anises
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1⁄2 glass of red dry wine
In a large pot, cook the Lasagne Primo Gusto in plenty of water, for about 10-12 minutes, making sure they do not stick together. Ideally, 3 lasagna sheets count as 1 serving.
For the ground meat:
Finely dice the onions. Grate the tomatoes with the thick side of the grater, without using their skin.
In a deep pan, put one tablespoon olive oil and caramelize the ground meat over medium-high heat.
Then remove the ground meat, put one tablespoon olive oil, add the onions together with one tablespoon of water and allow them to caramelize for 4-5 minutes. Once the onions are tender enough, throw in the ground meat again, add the tomato paste, cinnamon, salt, sugar, anise, paprika and cinnamon. Stir well for 2 minutes, in order for the tomato paste and spices to fry. Pour the wine, let the alcohol evaporate, add the tomato, stock and bay leaves and stir well.
Let it come to a boil, reduce the heat to the lowest grade and cook for 15-20 minutes.
For the béchamel:
In a deep saucepan put the two cups of milk together with the butter and heat until the butter has melted. In a large long-handled pot mix the other 1 cup of milk with the full tablespoons of flour. Stir well enough for the mixture to become homogenous. Remove the saucepan from heat and start pouring the mix, stirring very quickly using a stirrer. After pouring all of it, return to medium-high heat, stirring constantly and quickly until the béchamel thickens. Once it thickens, remove from heat, add the nutmeg, a little salt, pepper and parmesan.
For the vegetables:
Cut the eggplants and zucchini lengthwise in thin long strips and season with salt; heat some olive oil in a small frying pan and start sautéing them lightly. They need to be tender, but not completely cooked or mushy.
Composing the dish:
Lay down the lasagna sheets, top each of them with eggplant and zucchini strips, one spoonful of ground meat and make nice little rolls; place the rolls next to each other in a baking pan. Add the béchamel sauce on top, almost covering them, sprinkle with extra parmesan and bake for about 15-20 minutes to 170°C. Serve with fresh parsley.