Meatball Lasagna

Meatball Lasagna

Ingredients

12 lasagna noodles
2 cups (500 mL) fontina cheese, shredded
1/2 cup (125 mL) Parmesan cheese, grated

Meatballs:
1 egg
1/4 cup (60 mL) dry breadcrumbs
3/4 tsp (4 mL) dried oregano
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper
1-1/2 lb (680 g) lean ground beef

Tomato Sauce:
1 tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) Italian herb seasoning
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper
1/3 cup (75 mL) tomato paste
2 cans (each 19 oz/540 mL) tomatoes

Bechamel Sauce:
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
2 cups (500 mL) milk
1 cup (250 mL) ricotta cheese
1/3 cup (75 mL) Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
1/4 tsp (1 mL) nutmeg

Preparation

Meatballs: In bowl, whisk together egg, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup (50 mL) water, oregano, salt and pepper; mix in beef. Shape by rounded teaspoonfuls (5 mL) into balls. Bake on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet in 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) oven until no longer pink inside, about 12 minutes.

Tomato Sauce: Meanwhile, in large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; fry onions, garlic, carrot, celery, herb seasoning, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and tomatoes, breaking up with potato masher; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Add meatballs; simmer until spoon scraped across bottom of pan leaves gap that fills in slowly, about 10 minutes.

Bechamel: Meanwhile, in separate saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; whisk in flour and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Add milk, 1/2 cup (125 mL) at a time, whisking constantly; cook, whisking, until bubbly and thickened, about 15 minutes. Whisk in ricotta, Parmesan, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

In large pot of boiling salted water, cook lasagna noodles until almost tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and chill in cold water; arrange in single layer on damp tea towel.

Without picking up any meatballs, spoon 1 cup (250 mL) of the tomato sauce into 13- x 9-inch (3 L) glass baking dish. Top with one-third of the noodles; spread with one-third of the remaining sauce and meatballs, then half of the bechamel sauce. Starting with noodles, repeat layers once.

Top with remaining noodles; spread with remaining meatball sauce. Sprinkle with Fontina and Parmesan cheeses. (Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes; chill in refrigerator. Cover with foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Or wrap in heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks; thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours. Add 20 minutes to covered baking time.)

Cover with foil; bake in 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until bubbly and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Servings: 8

Tags: beef, bread crumbs, butter, cheese, egg, eggs, fontina, garlic, italian, lasagna, meatballs, olive oil, onion, onions, oregano, parmesan, ricotta, tomato, tomato paste, tomatoes

Nutritional Info

approx. per serving

cal651

pro41g

total fat32g

sat. fat16g

carb51g

fibre4g

chol137mg

sodium1,324

%RDI-

calcium48%

iron32%

vit A54%

vit C43%

folate41%

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