I’ve always made lasagna with ricotta cheese but this time I went ahead and made it with bechamel sauce. I was a little wary only because lasagna can take hours from start to finish and it would all go to waste if the bechamel was a no go. Luckily, it worked out. Not only did it work out but it was the best lasagna I’ve ever made.
It was perfectly seasoned. I used San Marzano tomatoes because I wanted the lasagna to be the best ever and San Marzano tomatoes are the best. They’re very sweet and delicious. I also used fresh lasagna sheets. The bechamel sauce was super cheesy and tasted heavenly.
I let the meat sauce simmer for about 2 hours with red wine, oregano, basil, onions, garlic, San Marzano tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Pour yourself a glass of red wine while the meat sauce simmers away and before you know it, the meat sauce will be slightly thick, tender, and very flavorful.
If you’re a big fan of The Sopranos then you know Carmela would put the basil under the cheese 🙂
Pile the cheese on
This cheesy, creamy bechamel lasagna is a delicious classic recipe made with San Marzano tomatoes, bechamel, fresh basil, and fresh pasta sheets. It's the best lasagna recipe I've ever made!
- 2 1/2 lb ground beef
- 84 ounces San Marzano tomatoes 3 cans
- 2 tbsp fresh basil
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 small onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese
- fresh lasagna sheets
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup 4 cheese Italian blend
- 1/8 tsp fresh nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a large skillet with some olive oil
- Add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes or until translucent.
- Add the chili flakes, fresh basil, and fresh garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the beef to the skillet crumbling it with your fingers or break it up using a wooden spoon.
- Brown the beef completely and then season with dried oregano, salt, and pepper.
- Add the san Marzano tomatoes and break them up.
- Add about 1 cup of water (optional), red wine, and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and simmer the meat sauce over low heat for 2 hours or until the beef is fork tender.
- Once the sauce is almost done, get started on the béchamel sauce.
- In a medium saucepan, melt some butter.
- Add the all-purpose flour and whisk over high heat.
- Cook for about 1 minute and then add the cold milk and whisk.
- Cook the sauce for about 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Grate some fresh nutmeg and then turn the heat off.
- Add the parmesan cheese and the 4 cheese Italian blend.
- Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Ladle some meat sauce on a 9x13 baking dish then place a layer of lasagna noodles.
- Ladle some meat sauce over the lasagna noodle, then a layer of béchamel sauce, layer with fresh mozzarella and then repeat steps until you reach the top of the baking dish.
- Add some fresh basil in the final layer and then cover with shredded mozzarella, if desired.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the aluminum foil and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Let the lasagna sit for a minimum of 20 minutes, serve and enjoy!