I have been making lasagna for years, recipe from the back of the box, and it’s always been tasty. This week I took it to a whole new level, thanks to a Christmas gift from mom, the Canal House Cooking cook book, volume 7.
Not only is the cover of this book beautiful, the food is divine. Everything in this lasagna is homemade except the noodles homemade (that’s next!) and absolutely delicious.
Canal House Lasagna
1 lb. lasagna noodles
3 cups tomato sauce (I recommend using the homemade sauce we blogged about in November! I added ground sirloin for the hubby-to-be)
1 1/4 cups grated parmigiano cheese
4 cups warm Basamella sauce (recipe below)
1 cup fresh whole milk ricotta cheese (fresh is the key word here!!)
Cook the lasagna noodles as directed on your packaging.
Preheat the oven to 400′. Line the bottom of a 9×13″ glass baking dish with lasagna noodles. Add a layer of homemade pasta sauce, followed by grated parm, Basamella sauce, and dollops of ricotta cheese. Repeat as many times as you like your lasagna high. Cover the final layer with parm and ricotta.
Bake the lasagna for 15 minutes until it’s browned on top and bubbling around the edges.
Basamella (the Italian version of French béchamel sauce)
8 tbs unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups hot milk (I used skim and the sauce was still incredibly rich & creamy)
1/2 cup graded parmigiano cheese
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low hear. Add the flour and cook for 1 1/2-2 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent it from taking on any color. Gradually add the hot milk in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly with a whisk to prevent lumps.
Increase the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon until it has the consistency of thick cream.
Remove the pan from heat and stir in the cheese, nutmeg and salt. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
* The key to making a good Basamella is to constantly stir, do not prep other things for dinner or empty the dishwasher, stay at the stove and be patient.