Beef and Mushroom Lasagna

What is lasagna?

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Lasagna is an Italian term that refers to flat pasta that is arranged in layers alternatively with other ingredients such as meat and/or vegetables cooked in sauce and topped with cheese. Beef and mushroom lasagna is one easy version that calls for just two main ingredients.

Most would say that the words “easy” and “lasagna” do not sound like they are meant for each other. I can’t blame them. Looking at layers of pasta sheets with all the rest of the ingredients in between, easy lasagna is not something one would think of.

Is Beef and Mushroom Lasagna Easy?

When I was young, I thought this dish was complicated. The intriguing cheesy aroma and oily serving of this pasta recipe, for me, was an incredible work of art. Diving in, I felt its difference from its baked macaroni counterpart. It took me a couple of years to try cooking what I now call my version of easy lasagna. Complicated as it may seem, it is not how you would find it here – this is a classic lasagna version.

First, it calls for only two items aside from the pasta sheets; beef and mushroom, that is. This frugal call for ingredients does make this version easy. I have another lasagna recipe that has ground beef and vegetables and a whole entourage of fresh ingredients and herbs, but I would still consider that easy because the process is the same. After this beef and mushroom lasagna, you would find cooking lasagna, no matter how many ingredients it asks for, easy.

Ingredients for beef and mushroom lasagna

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Groud beef

Lean ground beef is best for this recipe – without much fat content – as the dish would end up with enough oil from cheese toppings and the sauce. 

Mushrooms

I used canned mushrooms in this recipe, however, using fresh mushrooms would be tastier and more tender to the tastebuds. 

Tomatoes

Canned chopped tomatoes and a bit of tomato paste to make the sauce thick are one of the secrets of successful beef and mushroom lasagna. You can opt for store-bought tomato sauce to replace the chopped tomatoes. 

Onions

Lots of onions make any dish, I believe, tastier, including this one. Also, onion’s natural sauce prevents the dish from being dry despite less oil.

Garlic

This is the tease. This recipe can survive without garlic, however, I prefer this with it. Garlic provides an aroma that, for me, is unbeatable. 

Cheese

A cup of mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, parmesan, or any cheese mixture will give justice to any lasagna recipe – you are the boss, to your taste.

Last, but not the least, salt and freshly ground black pepper are necessary ingredients for successful lasagna dishes. Pepper flakes would also be a good addition depending on your preference. 

How to cook beef and mushroom lasagna

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Cooking lasagna comes in two stages: cooking the ingredients in a pot or deep skillet, and then baking it in a rectangular baking dish, covered with aluminum foil, for a few minutes. An ample oven heat, medium-high heat, makes it perfect. 

I call this lasagna recipe basic. However, it does not take away from the intriguing taste of pasta, beef, mushroom, and cheese layers that this pasta recipe is known for. We can classify this as a hearty lasagna recipe, although basic. A delicious choice to enjoy with your family and friends.

How to store left-over lasagna

Plastic food wrap is your best friend in keeping left-over lasagna. After the dish is cooled, cover the same rectangular baking dish with plastic cling film and keep it in the fridge for a couple of days. Bake again for about 15 minutes to reheat and you are ready to enjoy the same delicious lasagna. Another alternative, however, is to scoop the remaining lasagna onto a good-sized container with a tight lid and keep it in the fridge similarly. 

Cooking tips

  • Boil lasagna noodles 3-4 sheets at a time and layer them an inch from each other onto aluminum foil or baking sheet until needed.
  • Let the garlic brown in oil but do not burn.
  • Add onion soup mixture if you prefer to be frugal with fresh onions.
  • Separate meat before adding to the pot to avoid lumps.
  • Use fresh mushroom Italian sauce or Italian tomato sauce to replace canned chopped tomato and tomato paste in the recipe

Beef and Mushroom Lasagna

Author Magida

Ingredients

  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 2 tbsps cooking oil
  • ½ kg ground beef
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 big onion chopped
  • 1 can diced/chopped tomatoes
  • 4 fresh tomatoes deseeded and sliced thinly (optional)
  • 1 small red bell pepper diced finely
  • 1 cup fresh mushroom sliced
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup each of shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese
  • 50 g butter
  • 3 tbsps all-purpose flour
  • cups fresh milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsps olive oil

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Brush a 11 X 7” baking pan with oil.
  2. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions – this mostly means cook them in boiling water for 10-12 minutes. Add a teaspoon of salt and about 2 tbsps oil to prevent them from sticking to each other. You may want to cook them by batch and lay them flat on aluminum foil until needed.
  3. Sautee garlic, onions, and ground beef in garlic cooking oil and cook until beef juices come out.
  4. Add bell pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes (canned and fresh), stir once, then add salt, black pepper and oregano. Lower the heat and cook for another couple of minutes
  5. Layer lasagna leaves followed by beef mixture then with cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Repeat the same layer twice.
  6. Over low heat, melt butter in a saucepan. Add flour and stir until mixed. Add milk slowly and mix until smooth and a bit thick. Add scrambled egg and mix again. Pour over lasagna.
  7. Bake covered with aluminum foil 45 minutes turning the broil on (350°F) during the last 10 minutes of cooking and removing the foil cover. I leave the oven door ajar during this time as the topping has a tendency to be overdone otherwise. Brush with olive oil.

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