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Easy and Scrumptious Lasagna with Homemade Noodles

Easy and Scrumptious Lasagna with Homemade Noodles

The noodles for this lasagna are made from scratch, too! Rather than aiming for an authentic version, I made the bechamel and meat sauces with easy ingredients that are on hand.

Ingredients: about 4-5 servings, one 20 x 20 x 5 cm ovensave glass casserole dish

For the lasagna dough
Semolina flour (or bread flour)
200 g
Olive oil (or vegetable oil)
2 teaspoons
Salt
1/2 teaspoon
Eggs
2 medium
For the easy meat sauce
Ground meat (your choice of meat)
300 g
Onion
1 large
Carrot
1 medium
Garlic (tubed garlic is also fine)
2 cloves (or about 2 teaspoons of tubed garlic)
Olive oil (or vegetable oil)
about 2 teaspoons
Consommé soup stock granules
1 tablespoon
Soy sauce
1 tablespoon
Sake
1 tablespoon
Japanese Worcestershire sauce (or your choice of choice, such as tonkatsu sauce)
1 tablespoon
Ketchup
4 tablespoons
Canned diced tomatoes
1 can
Water
as needed
Krazy Salt (or salt and pepper)
to taste
For the bechamel sauce
Milk
about 500 ml
Butter or margarine
5 tablespoons
Plain white flour
5 tablespoons
Consommé soup stock granules
2 teaspoons
Salt and pepper
to taste
Toppings
Cheese (pizza cheese) easy melting type
to taste (about 150 to 200 g is plenty)
Dried parsley or your choice of herbs
to taste

Steps

1. Prepare the dough first. Put the semolina (or bread) flour into a bowl, and make a well in the middle.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, olive oil (or vegetable oil), and salt well. Pour this mixture into the well in the flour.
3. Gradually incorporate the flour while mixing in the egg mixture.
4. When the dough is more or less combined, knead it into a ball with your hands. Even if it is flaky and rough, it's fine as long as it is collected into a single mass.
5. Bring the dough together and flatten it a bit. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or put it into a plastic bag. Seal the bag or wrap well, and rest the dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
6. While the dough is resting, prepare the bechamel sauce and meat sauce. Let's start with the easy meat sauce....
7. Finely mince the garlic and carrot, then chop the onion a bit more roughly.
8. Sauté the chopped garlic with olive oil (or vegetable oil) in a frying pan until fragrant.
9. Add the ground meat to the frying pan and sauté it until browned. Add the carrot and onion and sauté well. Do this over high heat, taking care not to let it burn.
10. When the moisture has cooked out, add the sake, soy sauce, and soup stock and continue sautéing. Stir in the can of diced tomatoes.
11. When tomatoes are well incorporated, add enough water to cover all of the ingredients, plus the Japanese-style Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Stir well, and continue cooking over high heat to reduce the sauce rapidly.
12. Continue stirring while occasionally crushing the tomatoes with a ladle or a wooden spatula.
13. When the sauce has reduced so that there's little liquid left in the pan, taste, and add the salt and pepper or Krazy Salt to taste! Adjust the seasoning to taste and it's done! This is a simple and easy meat sauce.
14. Now, let's make the bechamel sauce. Put the butter or margarine in a frying pan or a pot, and melt it over low heat. Add the consommé soup stock granules.
15. Stir to dissolve the consommé soup stock granules in the butter or margarine.
16. When that's done, add 2 tablespoons out of the 5 tablespoons of flour. Stir it into the butter or margine until it has melted in completely.
17. Next, add 2 more tablespoons of flour and mix it in evenly. Add the final tablespoon of flour and mix it in completely.
18. When the roux is blended, add the milk in several batches, stirring until smooth between additions. Continue adding until all of the milk is incorporated.
19. Continue to mix away! When the sauce is smooth and creamy, it's done! If you still have some undissolved lumps, add a little more milk.
20. Taste, and season with salt and pepper. The easy bechamel sauce is done. It should ideally be rather thick.
21. Don't make the meat sauce or the bechamel sauce too salty. The lasagna will be topped with lots of cheese, so it will taste fine in the end.
22. After the dough has rested for 2 hours, take it out of the refrigerator, put it on a sheet of parchment paper, and divide it into 2 portions.
23. Return one half to the plastic wrap or bag. Knead the other half a little to relax it. It will be quite pretty stiff, so press down hard!
24. Knead the dough until smooth (on the surface), then press it out with your palms to flatten it a bit.
25. The dough will be stiff, so you need a lot of strength...Press and roll hard with a rolling pin. Roll it out to a 1 mm thickness.
26. Don't worry about the shape of the dough too much; just continue rolling it out until it's 1 mm thick. When the dough is rolled out, cut it so it's a little smaller than the casserole or lasagna pan you're using.
27. You don't have to make it too exact! Just cut it approximately without worrying about fitting it perfectly. The cut off end pieces will be used later.
28. Roll out the other half of the dough in the same way. Once the dough is rolled out, boil it. Bring water to a boil in a large frying pan or pot, and add about 1 tablespoon of oil.
29. Mix the water and oil, then add the dough and boil it. The dough will float to the surface; the boiling time depends on the thickness and size of the dough sheets...
30. For a thin and translucent noodle that floats to the surface, it should boil for about 3 minutes or so. If it's 1 mm thick, cook for about 4 minutes, and it's 2 mm thick or so, cook for 5 to 6 minutes.
31. Ideally, for the most authentic results, the dough should fit the baking dish exactly! But that's a bit hard to achieve, so you can cut it in half to fit.
32. Boil the cut off end pieces of the noodles, too. These will be used like puzzle pieces in the lasagna.
33. The boiling times for the noodles are for reference only. To be sure, cut off a bit of the thickest part and test the cut piece for doneness!
34. If the noodles are still floury and uncooked in the middle, they are done. Once the noddles are cooked, rinse them briefly in cold water and drain in a colander.
35. Once you have the meat sauce, bechamel sauce, and lasagna noddles ready, preheat the oven to 250 °C!
36. Grease the inside of the dish you'll be using to bake the lasagna with a little butter or margarine (not listed in the ingredient list). Start with a layer of bechamel sauce, followed by a layer of meat sauce.
37. Add a bit more meat sauce than bechamel sauce! If you are using a dish of about the size specified here, you should be able to make about 4 layers total.
38. It might be best to divide the sauce into 4 portions beforehand. Add a layer of noodles after the meat sauce layer! Repeat the layers.
39. Even if the lasagna noodles are in pieces, you can fit them together like a puzzle without any gaps as shown.
40. Since the lasagna noodles become thicker when they're cooked; if you roll them out 1 mm thick as a base, even if the sheets are not perfectly rectangular they can still be used. Since this is an easy casual lasagna, don't worry about making it perfectly.
41. Keep layering in the ingredients, from the bechamel sauce to the meat sauce. Top with the pizza cheese. Melting-type sliced cheese may also work.
42. Add as much cheese as you like.
43. When I added the last layer of meat sauce, my casserole was filled to the brim! If you add a bit less, leaving space at the top of your casserole dish, the cheese won't bubble over when it's baked.
44. Bake in an oven preheated to 250 °C for around 15 minutes, keeping an eye on it until the surface is crispy and browned.
45. When it has browned evenly on the surface, it's done. Sprinkle with dried parsley to taste.
46. Here is a view from the side...
47. The cut side is also well defined.
48. If you want to make more dough, use 1 egg per 100 g of flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of oil.
49. The first time you make this, you might get slightly confused about some of the steps...so try it out when you have some time to spare. It's surprisingly easy to make.
50. If your noodle sheets do not have an even thickness and the thicker parts float up to the surface as you're cooking them, open a few holes in the dough with chopsticks, and it will cook faster.
51. The dough is so firm and chewy that you shouldn't need any flour for dusting, but if it looks like it will stick as you work it, use a little flour.

Story Behind this Recipe

Rather than aiming for an authentic taste, this is a lasagna that is easy to make at home! Maybe you can even make this with ingredients you already have at home. This is best served piping hot, but it's also delicious served cold.