In 1994, after returning from London, I joined Hilton Hotel in Jakarta, During that time The Hotel its at his peak, it is a place where Jakarta crowd gathers, At Hilton the most sought place to visit is Pizza RIA, the 1st open Italian restaurant in Jakarta, so to experience the moment it is classic. Since then I am obsessed to learn and find out the recipe in making good Lasagna, and I learnt my ways from my Italian friends from my culinary school days and when living abroad, adjusting the recipe through the years to perfect it…and every single person that tries my recipe comes back for seconds, thirds and leftovers for the next day!
Some of my family and friends ask me why do I want to share such a great recipe, my answer is simple; why not? you should not keep great things to yourself, you should share the glory.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped (mirepoix)
- 1 carrot, finely diced (mirepoix)
- 4 cloves garlic cloves, minced
- 700 grams ground beef mince
- 300 grams sausage ( I use a good meat sausage with a bit of spice such as beef chorizo or black pepper, but you can use any if you like of just use a good ground mince beef)
- 410 grams crushed tomatoes
- 3 heaped tablespoons tomato paste, (I use garlic and herbs flavoured)
- 700 ml ultimate Italian tomato sauce https://sandradjohan.com/ultimate-italian-tomato-sauce/
- 2 beef or vegetable bouillon cubes, crushed
- 1 teaspoon each dried oregano and basil
- 1 teaspoon ground basil
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar, (if desired)
- Salt and pepper, season to your tastes
White Sauce (Béchamel):
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup flour, all purpose or plain
- 3 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup fresh shredded parmesan
- 1/2 cup fresh shredded mozzarella cheese
- pinch ground nutmeg
- 375 grams fresh lasagna sheets*
- 500 grams fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- Make your Ultimate Italian tomato sauce, I made this sauce 2 or 3 days before and I always have them stored on my freezer, its great the have a good homemade sauce at home.
- prepare this a day before, https://sandradjohan.com/ultimate-italian-tomato-sauce/
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, then add in the onion and carrots and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until softened. Add in the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
- Add beef and sausage (if using) and cook while breaking it up with the end of your spoon, until browned.
- Pour in the ultimate Italian Pasta sauce https://sandradjohan.com/ultimate-italian-tomato-sauce/ (or you can use any store brought tomato sauce) crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, crushed bouillon or beef stocks (your preferable) and dried herbs. Mix well to combine and bring to a gentle simmer. Season with desired amount of salt and pepper (I use about 3/4 teaspoon each) and sugar if needed. Cover and cook for about 20-30 minutes, occasionally mixing, until the sauce has thickened slightly and meat is tender.
- Adjust salt, pepper and dried herbs to your taste.
Parmesan White Sauce:
- In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Remove from hot plate; add the flour and whisk for about 30 seconds, or until well blended.
- Place pot back onto stove, reduce heat down to low and slowly whisk in 1 cup of the milk until well combined. Once well blended, add the remaining milk in 1 cup increments, mixing well after each addition, until all the milk is used and sauce is free from lumps. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk until it turns into a nice and creamy consistency.
- Increase heat to medium and continue cooking sauce while stirring occasionally until it thickens (about 6-7 minutes) and coats the back of your wooden spoon.
- Add in the parmesan and mozzarella cheese and remove from heat. Season with ground nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix until the cheese is melted through.
- Preheat oven to 350°F | 180°F.
- Spoon about 1 cup of meat sauce on the base of a 9x13-inch baking dish, then cover with lasagna sheets. (Trim sheets to fit over the meat if needed.) Layer with 2 cups of meat sauce (or enough to cover pasta), 1 cup of white sauce and half of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers (leaving the remaining cheese for the top).
- Pour the remaining meat sauce and white sauce over the last layer of lasagna sheets and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
- Garnish with parsley and let stand for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving. ENJOY!