Lasagne al forno


Ragù alla bolognese:  
Mix about 450 g. minced mixed meat (not eating beef or pork myself, I use lamb instead, tastes very yummy too) with 1 big onion, 2 medium sized celery stalks and a big carrot, all grated or chopped very fine. Saute in 4 tb sp of olive oil (the original recipe uses a big amount of butter, but olive oil is better for your health) until meat changes colour. Add 2 cups of red wine, stir and let simmer for 10 minutes, add 1 1/2 tin of chopped tomatoes and pepper & salt. A cup of milk can be added as well. Simmer covered on slow heat for at least 3 hours, stirring occasionally.  
Béchamel sauce:  
Melt 3 tb sp of butter in pan, add 3 good tb sp of flour and stir for a while; the flour shouldn't get brown though. Slowly add about 750 cl of milk while stirring continuously and bring to boil, still stirring. Season with pepper & salt. Simmer, while going on with stirring, until a slightly thick consistency (like that of fresh cream) is reached.  
Cut 1 - 2 balls of Mozzarella cheese into thin slivers.  
Carefully cook the lasagne sheets according to instructions on the package. Spread the sheets on a wet cloth side by side so they won't stick together. If you want to make a big lasagne you need more than a 500 g. pack of pasta. The work's about the same for a bigger one, and you can deepfreeze the leftover lasagne cut in portions. Reheat: Place frozen lasagne pieces in moderately hot oven and lightly cover alu foil. Allow enough time (easily more than half an hour, depending on size of portions) for them to be completely thawed and hot inside. The ingredients in this recipe should be sufficient for 1 1/2 packs of pasta.  
Oil (or butter) a big oven-proof form. Cover the bottom with a layer of lasagne sheets. Spread a few tb sp of meat sauce and a few slivers of mozzarella cheese on the pasta sheets. Lightly sprinkle with (freshly ground) black pepper and parmesan cheese. Spread a few tb sp of béchamel sauce on the meat and cheese. Add another layer of lasagne sheets and continue until the ingredients are used up. The last layer is made up of lasagne sheets covered with the rest of the béchamel sauce. It's important to have enough béchamel left for a very throughout covering of the last pasta layer; where the pasta sheets remain uncovered, they'll get hard in the oven.  
Top with a few flakes of butter and bake in moderate oven for about 45 min. to 1 hour, or until the surface has turned to a nice dark gold colour.  
Serve with a salad. If you use green lasagne sheets, a salad of red chicorée gives a nice colour contrast. As an entrée, how about a pumpkin crème soup?  
An Italian cook-book.