Prepare the most popular Italian dish step by step
It even has its own day in the calendar. On July 29th we celebrate International Lasagna Day, a symbol of Italian cuisine worldwide.
Its name comes from the Greek word «lasanon», which in Spanish means bowl or dish. And in ancient Greece a special deep container was used for the cooking of this pasta dish. The Romans, who supposedly inherited this preparation, called it «lasanum». Others say that its origin is in the United Kingdom, since the recipe is in a medieval book of 1390, dedicated to King Richard II.
Whatever its origin, the recipe for lasagna is clear: thin sheets of pasta; a filling made with meat, also called ragout; Bechamel, a white sauce made with milk; and cheese to gratinate, preferably parmesan.
The preparation of this dish gives way to countless recipes made with vegetables, mushrooms, fish, seafood or chicken, which is the proposal that we suggest below.
Ingredients for a rectangular tray of 29 x 21 cm
- 8 sheets of fresh pasta for lasagna
For the filling
- 750 g of chopped chicken breast
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 carrots
- 1 large onion
- 1 branch of celery
- White wine
- 750 ml crushed tomato
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
For the bechamel sauce
- 25 g of butter
- 25 g of flour
- 250 ml of whole milk
- Salt and white pepper
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 200 ml of homemade tomato sauce
- 500 g ricotta or cottage cheese
- 100 g of Parmesan cheese
Step by step elaboration
- Sauté the chicken previously cut in small pieces in a very hot pot with a drizzle of olive oil. Add pepper. Move constantly until it’s golden brown. Remove from the pot and reserve.
- In the same pot, add a drizzle of olive oil, sauté the chopped garlic and add the finely chopped vegetables. Add salt, add the bay leaves and let it poach for 15 minutes over medium heat.
- Raise the heat and add the previously sauteed meat, add the white wine and let it reduce.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, the sweet paprika, the cumin and the teaspoon of sugar to remove the acidity of the tomato. Let it cook for 30 minutes.
- Once the filling is cooked, add salt and pepper. Let it cool.
- In a rectangular tray, arrange a base of tomato sauce and cover with fresh pasta. Next, add a layer of chicken filling, another layer of cheese and the last layer of chicken interspersed with the fresh pasta.
- To finish the chicken lasagna, melt the butter in a pan and add the flour. Cook for about 5 minutes and add the milk little by little until it thickens. Season and add a pinch of nutmeg.
- Spread the bechamel sauce over the lasagna and cover with the previously grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for 25 minutes at 180 degrees.
‘Harmonies in Flavors and Fragrances’. By Juan Muñoz Ramos.
Fragrances and flavors with a dish that marks creaminess in all its analysis, like the one that gives the bechamel to the parmesan cheese. Next to it, a wine from the Chardonnay grape with a light aging in barrel which gives it even more creaminess by playing to balance them.
We start on the plate with the tomato sauce, marking its balanced citrus; but there is still something more, something fresh and at the same time elegant … how not … the exotic bubbles of water S.Pellegrino, wonderful balance to play with the creaminess of the dish and extend the flavor of the wine Finca Legardeta Chardonnay with its rest in cask.
Playing balance with the right drinks is part of the fun in gastronomy, something wonderful and at the same time tasty.
- To avoid lumps in the bechamel, boil the milk and add it little by little to the roux (butter and flour).
- Avoid adding oil in excess so that the lasagna is lighter.
- To be able to assemble the lasagna more easily, it is advisable to make the filling the day before and let it cool in the fridge.