There are 4 steps in how to cook lasagna, and in this recipe, I vary from the traditional to include a layer of my family's favorite - sweet potato. This vegetable adds color, natural sweetness and texture to the lasagna.
If you love sweet potato too, you'll love this recipe.
How to Cook Lasagna With Sweet Potato
1. Firstly cook the ground beef sauce:
Make your favorite bolognaise sauce or if you're short of time or ingredients, I make this "short-cut" meat sauce for lasagna.
1 pound ground beef
3 tbs tomato paste
2 ts stock powder
2 cups water
1 tb soy sauce
1 ts sugar
Fry the meat till browned.
Add in all the other ingredients and cook till the mixture is thick. Do a taste test and season to your liking.
You may like to add a little chili powder for a little kick or some cumin seeds for some depth of flavor.
2. Prepare the sweet potato
2 medium or 3 small sweet potatoes
Peel and chop them into small chunks.
Boil till very soft, drain and leave it aside till you're ready to layer the lasagna.
3. Make the bechamel or white sauce
2 oz/ 50 gm butter
2 heaped tb plain flour
4 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
In a heavy and roomy saucepan, melt the butter.
Toss in the flour and cook with the melted butter. You'll see it will look like balls of dough.
Pour in all the milk all at once and stir. Keep the heat on high
Keep stirring and use the back of the wooden spoon to break up the dough into small bits.
Now just keep combining. You'll find that the mixture will all of a sudden become thick.
Don't let it boil, though. Turn the heat down to a low simmer when it is about to boil.
This will become thick and the fancy name is bechamel. It's so easy to do.
Sometimes I add a stock cube to add additional flavor.
4. Layer the lasagna:
a packet of instant lasagna sheets
3 cups of tasty or melty cheese
First of all, pour into the lasagna pan, a small amount of bechamel to just cover the base thinly
Add the dry lasagna sheets. There is no need to cook instant lasagna.
Spoon in 2/3 of the cooked savory meat.
Top with lasagna.
Pour over the bechamel so that the sheets are entirely covered. It's this liquid that cooks the lasagna pasta, so be sure it's all covered.
Repeat the next layer with all the drained vegetable.
Repeat again with the remainder of the meat sauce.
And finally top with the last lasagna pasta.
Pour over the last of the bechamel and top with shredded cheese.
Bake at 400F/200C for 40 minutes till the cheese layer is all melted and golden brown.
Now that you've learned how to cook lasagna you can cook variations. The steps are identical and the bechamel is consistent in every lasagna recipe, but the fillings can change to whatever you have in the fridge!
To cook a traditional lasagna, cook double the quantity of meat filling using your favorite bolognaise recipe. To make a full tray of lasagna, you'll need to cook 2 pounds/ 1 kg of ground meat.
You can make easy variations by changing the vegetable fillings to make:
vegetarian lasagna with nuts and spinach
Although there are 4 steps, I still consider lasagna as one of our easy recipes as once you've mastered the bechamel sauce, it's just a matter of layering.
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