Besides family, friends, music and gifts, one of the most important holiday elements is food. The main meal is what ties everything together as we all smile after a great meal, so here’s a big family favorite with a twist. I come from a mainly Irish/Scottish/German family but we’ve recently added a flair of Maltese culture to the family mix. So break out the fork and knife, here’s how you make a Maltese Lasagna.
~Cassie J. Stewart~
WARNING: This isn’t your average everyday layer by layer lasagna. Oh no, this is the king of lasagnas. Be prepared to have leftovers. It’s the Maltese way.
Supposedly for a 14″ pan that’s 4″ deep
Parmesan 1 big bottle
Shredded Mozzarella 1 pounds
Onions 6 big onions
Garlic 3 big garlic cloves
Tomatoes 8 tomatoes
Paprika small Bottle
Parsley A medium fresh bushel
Salt small bottle
Pepper small bottle
Nutmeg small bottle
Whole milk 1 gallon
Flower 1 pound, all purpose flower
Butter 1 medium sized container- spreadable
Ground meat- chicken or beef 1 or 2 pounds
Barilla lasagna (pre-boiled) 5 boxes
Canned tomato sauce 1 big can
Foil 1 box
Peal and slice all the onions, tomatoes, parsley and garlic!
(A) Using a deep pot, put some olive oil or butter with the onions and garlic . Let the onions and garlic cook until they are adequately done. Make sure you stir regularly (but not too much) to prevent the onions from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
(B) In another pot put the ground beef or chicken (Your choice) and cook until it is adequately done. Remember to stir but don’t over stir.
(A) When the onions and the garlic are ready, add the tomatoes, tomato sauce (not too much sauce, remember the fresh tomatoes have already added some sauce) and the cooked beef/chicken to the deep pot with onions and stir!
(B) Add paprika, parsley (fresh), dashes of salt & pepper and continue stirring.
(C) put the flame on low and let it simmer while you start working on the white sauce. (remember to stir regularly to prevent it from burning)
(A) Put all the milk in a deep pot and get a whisk.
(B) Put the flame on low/medium and continuously stir without stopping until the milk is hot. (do not stop stirring)
(C) turn the flame off for the red sauce and let it sit for a while.
(D). When the milk is relatively hot, slowly start adding a spoon of flour at a time and stir. Every time you add a spoon of flour make sure you stir until it dissolves before you add another one.
(E) When milk starts to feel adequately thick, stop adding flour.
Remember! Don’t add to much flour!
(F) Add some nutmeg to the mix (not too much). Then turn off the flame and keep stirring for 5 to 10 minutes until it starts to thicken. Let it simmer with the flame off.
(A) Lather the pans you are going to use with butter, don’t be shy about it.
(B) Put the red sauce, white sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella next to the buttered pans in preparation.
(C) Pre-heat the oven at 450
The Layering process:
(1) Lasagna sheet
(2) red sauce
(3) white sauce
Repeat until you reach the top of the pan, make sure the very top is the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, not the lasagna sheet.
Also, do not overflow the dish. It is better to put one layer less, that way it will not over flow in the oven.
When you are done layering, place a piece of foil on the dish and place it in the oven. Check it every 15 minutes. You will know it is ready by taking a butter knife and putting it through the layers. If it goes through without any pressure then the lasagna is ready.
Remove the foil and put the the flame on broiler. Let the top burn a little, not too much then take out of the oven and let it cool down.
Serve with family and friends, and you probably will still have enough leftovers for 2-3 more nights.