Right after breakfast, I got the sauce going for tonight's lasagna dinner. And why is this Thursday night different from all other Thursday nights? Because we have family arriving, after making a long drive.
The early start, allows for aromatics to blossom and the later ingredients to simmer. This is how you do it right. Sure, the pricey sauces are good - but usually too much salt and water to make a large dish. I doubled the ingredients so there is no dry pasta, and extra for re-heating leftovers.
After the onions and garlic are soft, and starting to brown, add the carrots, followed by the "mock beef". If you are using real meat, be very careful about its preparation so it's safe to eat, and skim off extra fat so it does not compete with the rest for flavor.
That is two large cans of Italian Plum tomatoes, and three carrots grated in the food processor.
These are my favorite lasagna noodles, and based on my last lasagna; I am skipping to boiling prep step - and will instead use extra liquid and sauce in the recipe so they don't get mushy and overcooked. The mock meat is this packet from TJ's - it's a little bitter - so the sweet sauce and added seasonings are helpful in keeping the right balance. They add texture and nutrition, but I am not a huge fan of using them too much (textured soy protein) as it is a processed product.
Read through the whole sauce recipe before you start. Note the white wine and milk. What? Yes? It works. I just added the milk (non-fat) - and lowered the heat so it does not curdle. I am simmering longer than they suggest (and you should too, if you have time) because it really does taste better that way. I am going to let the sauce cool, and will then transfer to a glass bowl for the assembly step. Remember, it's pretty hard to work with bubbling sauce - so allow time to let it cool down a bit.
I am opting for the "American Style" instead of making the Besciamella...but that's your call. More later....