*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
                        BEEF LASAGNE ala Pasta & Co.
 Recipe By     : Marcella Rosene, Pasta & Co By Request (a Seattle Take
 Serving Size  : 10   Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Cookbook                         Italian
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    1 1/4  pounds        ground beef -- lean
      1/4  cup           olive oil -- pure
    1 1/3  cups          onions -- coarsley chopped
    1      tablespoon    oregano -- heaping
    1 1/2  teaspoons     garlic -- finely minced
    1 1/2  teaspoons     basil
    1      teaspoon      salt
      1/4  teaspoon      black pepper
      1/4  teaspoon      red pepper flakes
    1      cup           dry white wine -- (plus 3
    1      tablespoon    )
    3 1/4  CUPS          tomatoes -- crushed in puree
                         preferred brand: Patadiso***(keep extra
                         juice -- see note)
    5      ounces        frozen spinach -- thawed
                         --- squeeze dry of all liquid
    3      cups          mozzarella cheese -- grated
      1/2  cup           feta cheese -- crumbled
    1 1/2  cups          milk
    1      cup           cream
                         -- Big pinch white pepper
                         -- Big pinch thyme
                         -- Big pinch nutmeg
                         -- Big pinch basil
    3      tablespoons   butter
      1/3  cup           flour -- (plus 1 tablespoon
      1/3  cup           Parmesan cheese -- grated -- (plus 1
    1      tablespoon    P. cheese)
    3      tablespoons   Romano cheese -- grated
                         -- Uncooked fresh lasagne noodles,enough
                         for three layers in a 9-inch by 13-inch
      1/4  cup           unseasoned bread crumbs
    2      tablespoons   Parmesan cheese -- freshly grated
    1      teaspoon      parsley -- very finely chopped
 ***(There will be a couple of ounces left in the 28-ounce can. Save it.
 You will use it in assembling the lasagne.)
 This is the lasagne we have made and sold for a decade. Several things
 set this version apart from the dozens of other lasagne recipes. Its
 sauce is strongly seasoned with oregano. It calls for a thick filling of
 bechamel instead of ricotta cheese. It uses feta cheese to step up the
 flavor of the dish. And it takes advantage of fresh lasagne noodles,
 which can go into the dish with no precooking. Our sales of this product
 are the best proof that the formula works. PREPARE-AHEAD/SERVING NOTES:
 Make a day ahead and bake when needed, or do as we do and freeze. Take
 the lasagne straight from the freezer to the oven and adjust the cooking
 time accordingly. Caution: Be sure to let the lasagne sit 20 minutes
 before serving. ESSENTIAL GEAR: Shallow baking pan (9 by 13 inches)
 To make sauce, cook ground beef in a saute pan over medium heat until
 pink is gone and meat is crumbly. Remove from heat and pour meat through
 a colander to drain off all fat. Reserve meat. (Be certain it is
 well-crumbled. If it is not, break it up using a potato masher or large
 wooden spoon.) In the same saucepan, heat olive oil and add onions,
 oregano, garlic, basil, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook
 over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add wine, bring to a
 boil, and cook until alcohol has evaporated--- about 10 minutes. Stir in
 tomatoes. Add spinach and reserved meat. Continue simmering for a few
 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.
 Mix together mozzarella and feta cheeses and set aside.
 To make bechamel, heat milk, cream, white pepper, thyme, nutmeg, and
 basil in a small saucepan until it nears a boil. Turn off heat. Melt
 butter in a medium-size saute pan. When foam from butter recedes, remove
 from heat, add flour, and mix well. Return to medium-low heat and,
 stirring frequently, simmer for 2 to 3 minutes to cook, but not brown,
 the flour. Gradually stir in hot milk and cream mixture. Raise heat to
 medium-high and continue stinnng until mixture is smooth and
 thick--about 5 minutes. Add Parmesan and Romano cheeses and whisk until
 smooth. This should be the texture of wallpaper paste, not of the white
 sauce more often associated with bechamel.
 To make topping, mix together bread crumbs, Parmesan, and parsley.
 Preheat oven to 400 F. Spread 2 tablespoons of the tomato juices left in
 the can of tomatoes on the bottom of a shallow baking dish (9 by 13
 inches). Lay in one layer of the uncooked lasagne noodles. Spoon on 3
 cups of the meat sauce. Spread 1 cup of bechamel across the sauce in two
 diagonals (no need to spread evenly at this point). Top with 2 cups of
 cheese mixture. Lay on another layer of lasagne noodles and repeat,
 using the same amounts of sauce (be sure to get every dab of the meat
 sauce - there is no extra to spare), bechamel, and cheese. Top with last
 layer of noodles, and with fingertips, press lightly to distribute
 bechamel smoothly in the layers. Using a long metal spatula, “frost” top
 layer of noodles with remaining bechamel. Be sure to completely cover
 noodles so that they do not dry out in baking. Sprinkle evenly with
 reserved bread crumb mixture.
 Bake lasagne at 400 degrees F for about 60 minutes or until sauce
 bubbles around the edge and top is nicely browned. If top browns too
 quickly, cover with aluminum during last 10 minutes of cooking. If
 baking the lasagne straight from the freezer,add about 20 minutes to
 cooking time. Once out of the oven, let lasagne set up for about 20
 minutes before serving. (This is critical for ease of serving.)
 SERVES 8 TO 10.
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