Beef & Zucchini Lasagna

Time to sneak some more veggies into our pasta dish 😉 and we’ll talk about bechamel sauce, that some of our friends refer to as “that white thing on top” 😉

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g ground beef
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 small green bell pepper (or red)
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 500ml homemade marinara sauce (or any sauce you prefer)
  • 4 pcs small zucchini, sliced thinly
  • 6 pieces lasagna sheets (more or less depending on your pan)
  • grated cheese (i used 1/4 cup edam and 1/4 cup parmesan – your choice )
  • 400ml bechamel sauce (read below)

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PROCEDURE

1. Preheat pan with oil, fry beef until brown.

2. Add onions then garlic, stir. Cook until fragrant.

3. Add the vegetables, and cook until tender.

4. Add marinara sauce, stir, cover and bring to boil. Turn off heat and set aside.

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5. Prepare the bechamel sauce.

6. Cook lasagna sheets according to package directions.

Fit your lasagna sheets to the pan first to determine how many sheets you’ll need.

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Assembly

1. Preheat oven at 350F.

2. Put some sauce at the bottom you pan. Lay your lasagna sheets evenly, then cover it with the sauce, layer with zucchini until the sauce is covered then cover the zucchini with sauce then the lasagna sheet. Repeat this process until you end up with lasagna sheets on top. Cover with the ramaining sauce and top with the bechamel sauce. Sprinkle the top with grated cheese.

3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top has browned.

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Bechamel Sauce

Let’s talk about bechamel sauce. Bechamel sauce is the white sauce you put on top of lasagna or baked macaroni (sometimes also put in between layers). It is usually made of butter, flour, milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. You make a roux out of butter and flour (1:1 ratio) then you add the rest of the ingredients, let it boil and thicken.

So basically, it’s only a thickened milk with salt and pepper and I find it bland to use on its own, so I always add CHEESE in it before and after pouring the sauce on top of the pasta. You can use, parmesan, cheddar, edam or cream cheese (in block or in jar) or any cheese you like. Chiz Whiz, Eden, or Magnolia Cream Cheese will do too (if you’re in the Philippines). For me, this bechamel sauce is the simplest and lightest white sauce you can put on top of your lasagna.

5a

parmesan cheese and edam cheese

But since I sometimes feel lazy making my own bechamel, I always keep a pack or 2 of a premixed bechamel sauce that I use in times like today 😉

So, let’s start with the bechamel sauce. Use the cheese you prefer.

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  • 1/2 pack of the bechamel powder
  • 400 ml milk
  • 1/4 tsp italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp grated edam cheese

Mix all the ingredients in small saucepan, stir and bring to boil or until it thickens while stirring constantly. You’ll know the sauce is ready when it coats the back of the spoon and you run your finger in the center, if it stays separated, then its done. It will still thicken as it cools, you don’t want a paste for a topping right?

Please note that the other brands may require you a different ratio of milk per pack, so please read first the package directions before proceeding.

When it comes to milk, should you decide to use evaporated milk rather than whole milk or fresh milk. Please note that evaporated milk is more concentrated milk, thus, in order for you to make whole milk, dilute the evaporated milk in water of the same measurement (1:1 ratio, ex. you need 1 cup whole milk, you will need 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water), this substitution works as well when it comes to baking.

Enjoy!

for easy homemade marinara sauce click below

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let’s eat!

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Thank your for the inspiration Deanna’s Zuchinni Lasagna and Melissa’s Garlicky Spicy Shrimp and Zoodles.

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