The hearty texture of meat, the comforting taste of pasta and the smooth, slightly tangy flavor of yogurt bechamel sauce combine to create an out-of-this world comfort food. Deviating from the traditional way to make this layered pasta dish, bechamel substitutes the ricotta mixture commonly found in traditional lasagnas. Packing your meats, vegetables and starches into one dish, this creamy Italian dinner puts a new spin on an old classic. Make this dish ahead of time and freeze for a quick dinner option on a weeknight.
Things You'll Need
- Yellow onion
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Measuring spoons
- Large sauté pan
- Mixing Spoon
- Ground beef
- Ground pork
- Italian sausage
- Ground clove
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground pepper
- Can of whole tomatoes
- Sauce pan
- Measuring cups
- Olive oil
- White flour
- Whole milk
- Whole-milk yogurt
- Gruyere cheese
- Large pot
- Lasagna noodles
- Paper towels
- 13 by 9 inch glass pan
- Parmesan cheese
- Aluminum foil
Finely chop 1 1/2 cups of yellow onion, 1 stalk of celery, 1 large carrot and 2 oz. of pancetta.
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large saute pan and add the vegetables and the pancetta. Cook with medium-high heat until the onions and celery are translucent.
Mix in 11 oz. of ground beef, 5 oz. of ground pork and 5 oz. of Italian sausage in the saute pan with the vegetable mixture. Turn the heat on high and brown the meat.
Add a 1/4 teaspoon of ground clove, 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of ground pepper. Mix thoroughly to combine.
Stir in one 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes. Add 1 cup of milk and 1 teaspoon of salt. Let simmer on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Yogurt Bechamel Sauce
Whisk in a deep sauce pan over medium heat, 4 tbsp. of olive oil and 4 tbsp. of white flour. Stir constantly until the mixture starts to bubble and turn a light golden color. Turn off the heat.
Mix in 2 cups of cold whole milk and 1 cup of whole-milk yogurt. Stir constantly and turn a medium-high heat until the mixture starts to boil.
Add 1/3 cup of grated Gruyere cheese and 1/3 cup of whole milk shredded mozzarella cheese. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a sprinkling of nutmeg and black pepper. Mix together until melted and remove from heat.
Assemble the Lasagna
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Boil a large pot of water over high heat. Add 1 lb. of lasagna noodles and cook 7 to 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain in a colander and rinse the noodles in cold water.
Spread the noodles out on a flat surface lined with paper towels.
Coat a 13 by 9 inch glass pan with olive oil. Place a layer of lasagna noodles over the bottom of the dish. Put one third of the bolognese mixture over the noodles, and then sprinkle a layer of Parmesan cheese. Pour one quarter of the bechamel sauce over the cheese layer.
Repeat the above layering process twice more using the noodles, bolognese sauce, Parmesan cheese and bechamel sauce. Place a final layer of the lasagna noodles over the top, and cover with the remaining amount of bechamel sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake 20 to 30 minutes or until the bechamel sauce becomes browned and bubbles. Allow it to cool slightly before serving.
Tips & Warnings
- Place several toothpicks around the perimeter of the lasagna to tent the aluminum foil covering.
- Do not bake this dish in an aluminum-based pan as it can give the yogurt sauce an off-taste and color.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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