(Brazilian lasagna prepared with white sauce and ham)

(Makes: 2 Lasagnas)

White Sauce:
The traditional Bechamel as created by Louis de Bechamel in France is prepared with melted butter,
wheat flour and hot milk seasoned with basil,
nutmeg and onions.

2 tbs (30 g) butter
3 tbs (30g) all purpose flour
1 cup (250ml) milk
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 tsp (5g) salt
1 pinch ground pepper

Place a sauce pan in medium heat.
Melt the butter with the flour stirring well.
Add the nutmeg, salt and ground pepper.
Add the milk slowly while stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon.
Bring the sauce to boil and cook for about 10 minutes or until creamy.
Do not overcook as it can break the starch and thin the sauce.
Set the white sauce aside to assemble the lasagna.

Meat Sauce Ingredients:
2 tbs (30ml) vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 lb (250 g) ground beef
1 lb ripe tomatoes

Peel tomatoes, remove seeds and chop.
Brown ground beef in a large sauce pan over high heat with the vegetable oil,onion, garlic.
Add the prepared tomatoes and water just enough to cook a thick meat sauce.
Set meat sauce aside to assemble lasagna.

Ingredients To Assemble Lasagna:
1lb (500g) uncooked lasagna noodles
1/2 lb (250g) sliced mozzarella
1/2 lb (250 g) sliced ham
2 oz (60g) grated parmesan
Oregano to sprinkle.

This recipe is enough to prepare 1 gal (4L) of lasagna.
Use two glass baking dishes 8x8x2 inches (20x20x5cm).

Bring 4 qt (2L) of water to boil.
Add 2 teaspoon of salt.
Add four noodles at a time, cook uncovered until tender, but firm.
Use a large fork or slotted spoon to remove cooked noodles directly to the baking dish.

Spoon meat sauce into baking dish. Make four layers of noodles and put first layer of noodles on top of meat sauce.
Then alternate each layer, with meat sauce, mozzarella and ham.
In one of the layers, put only white sauce with ham.
Cover the lasagna with white sauce, grated parmesan and a sprinkle of oregano.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 Celcius).

Bake lasagna until heated through, about 20 minutes.
Cover lasagna with aluminum foil during baking to avoid cheese from burning.

Meat sauce is better if the beef is ground twice.
Do not overcook the noodles. You can use pre-cooked noodles.
Follow packaging instructions.
You can buy Bechamel sauce ready to use in Italian stores.
The sauce comes in little aseptic boxes made by Parmalat.
As this recipe makes two lasagnas, you can bake one immediately and freeze the second lasagna assembled for up to 3 months.

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