Recipe: Chef Kevin Belton’s Lasagna

Chef Kev has three lasagna recipes to try.

NEW ORLEANS –

Summer vegetable lasagna

  • 14 lasagna noodles, without boiling
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 small Portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 C. Creole seasoning
  • 12 oz. jar of roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
  • 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 8 basil leaves, chopped
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, red pepper flakes, zucchini, squash and Creole seasoning, then cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened but still crisp, 5 to 8 minutes longer .
  • Stir in roasted red peppers and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid has thickened and reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the basil and season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
  • While the sauce cooks, mix the ricotta cheese, eggs and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl until well blended.
  • Pour 1 cup of vegetable mixture into the baking dish to lightly cover the bottom. Arrange four noodles lengthwise and side by side to cover the bottom.
  • Spread about half of the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle with one-third of the Parmesan and one-third of the mozzarella. Top with one-third of the vegetable mixture.
  • Add another layer of four noodles, then repeat adding another third of the cheese and vegetable mixture.
  • Finish with a final layer of noodles, the rest of the vegetable mixture and cover with the rest of the cheese.
  • Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes; uncover, then bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is crisp around the edges. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Meat lasagna

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, loose
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 24 oz. Passata (Tomato purée drained of seeds and skin)
  • 14 oz. fire-roasted tomatoes, diced
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 2 beef or vegetable stock cubes, crushed
  • 1 tbsp. italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Bechamel

  • 4 tbsp. Butter
  • 1/4 cup flour, all purpose
  • 3 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

lasagna

  • 14 lasagna noodles, without boiling
  • 17 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add the onion and carrots and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  • Add Italian sausage, beef and pork. Cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until golden.
  • Pour in the passata, roasted tomatoes, tomato puree, crushed broth and dried herbs. Stir well to combine and bring to a gentle boil. Season with brown sugar and the desired amount of salt and pepper. Cover and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly and the meat is tender.
  • Adjust the salt, pepper and dried herbs to your taste.
  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Remove from griddle; add flour and whisk for about 30 seconds, or until well blended.
  • Return the pot to the stove, reduce the heat to low and slowly stir in 1 cup of the milk until well blended. Once well mixed, add the remaining milk in 1 cup increments, mixing well after each addition, until all the milk is used and the sauce is free of lumps. If the sauce is too thick, add a little milk until it becomes a nice creamy consistency.
  • Increase the heat to medium and continue cooking the sauce, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and coats the back of your wooden spoon.
  • Add the parmesan and remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper and mix until the cheese is melted.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spoon about 1 cup of meat sauce into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish, then top with lasagna sheets. Layer with 2 cups meat sauce or enough to cover pasta, 1 cup white sauce and half the mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers, reserving the rest of the cheese for the top.
  • Spoon the remaining meat sauce and white sauce over the last layer of lasagna sheets and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
  • Garnish with parsley and let stand for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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