Recipe: Brazilian Lasagna

A new year and a new category for the blog: Recipes! I’m a food lover, and you can tell from my ever-expanding waistline. To keep in line with New Year’s tradition, I, along with every other man, woman, and child world-wide, have made the resolution of eating better. I figured adding recipes to the blog would not only encourage me, but it would also keep the resolution in the forefront of my mind while I shamelessly break my resolution again and again and again and again….

I spent two years in Brazil on a Church mission and fell in love with the people, the country, and the food. One food item that I miss terribly is a classic Brazilian Lasagna. It’s somewhat similar to your traditional lasagna, but it includes ham and a white sauce. Very tasty. When some good friends visited last week, we decided we’d treat them to this dish and found a good recipe. Here’s the recipe modified slightly to fit more in line with what I remember (the original can be found here).

Brazilian Lasagna

The lasagna consists of three parts. You prepare each part separately and then combine into the final product (the third part). The white sauce and the meat sauce can be prepared simultaneously. The third part (construction) should be done after so that your noodles don’t overcook.

Part 1: White Sauce

  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 2 tbs. flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch ground pepper

Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir well. Add the other seasonings and, after they are well blended, slowly add the milk while stirring constantly. Bring the sauce to a boil while stirring, and cook until creamy (about 3 minutes for me). Cover the white sauce and set it aside.

Tip: I really like garlic, so I replaced the nutmeg with garlic. I also doubled the white sauce because I really like it.

Part 2: Meat Sauce

  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 lbs. peeled, chopped tomatoes with the seeds removed

Brown the beef in a large sauce pan over high heat with the oil, onion, and garlic. Add the tomatoes and enough water to create a thick sauce. Cook until the meat is done. Set the meat sauce aside.

Tip: I hate the crunch of onions, so I use onion powder. I also use ground turkey sausage because I think the flavor of the ham matches with the sausage better than hamburger. To peel a tomato, heat a large pot of water to boiling, cut an X into the bottom of the tomato and drop the tomato into the boiling water for maybe 10 seconds. Immediately remove the tomato and submerge it in ice water. The skin should peel right off. If not, you can boil it for a few more seconds. Removing the seeds from a peeled tomato is easy, cut the tomato and scoop out the seeds. I crushed the tomatoes as well because I don’t like tomato chunks.

I also have done this using canned tomato sauce, and it works great.

Part 3: Assembling the Lasagna

  • 1 lbs. lasagna noodles (precooked or uncooked)
  • 1 lbs. sliced mozzarella
  • 1 lbs. sliced ham
  • Parmesan to taste
  • Oregano

Cook the lasagna noodles as instructed. Spoon roughly half of the meat sauce into the bottom of a 13X9X2 pan to lightly cover the pan. Layer lasagna noodles over the top. Cover the lasagna noodles with half of the mozzarella and ham. Layer lasagna noodles over the top. Cover the lasagna noodles with the rest of the meat sauce and the rest of the mozzarella. Layer lasagna noodles over the top. Layer the rest of the ham and then cover the ham with half of the white sauce. Layer lasagna noodles over the top. Add the rest of the white sauce and cover the sauce with Parmesan to taste. Lightly sprinkle oregano over the top.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cover the lasagna with foil, and bake the lasagna until heated thoroughly (about 20 minutes if already warm). Serve immediately.

Tip: This recipe is a perfect recipe to prepare ahead of time and either refrigerate or even freeze until you are ready to use it. For smaller meals, cut the recipe in half and prepare it in an 8X8 pan.

VIVA BRASIL!!!

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7 Responses to Recipe: Brazilian Lasagna

  1. Sarah says:

    I’ll probably force you to make that for me the next time I see you.

    😀

  2. nosurfgirl says:

    Dave,

    How can you have lasagna…

    without spinach?

    Huh? Seriously.

  3. Pingback: Manly Man Feast Results « the prodigal

  4. Junepoppies says:

    This is fantastic! Thank you. I had been wanting to find this for my husband who had also served in brazil. He mentioned this numerous times. D you happen to have a recipe for banana pizza? He said he had that there as well. Bananas, cheese, cinnamon, etc. all on a pizza crust.

    • daveloveless says:

      I don’t, but that sounds fantastic!

      Good luck with the lasagna. It is expensive to make, but utterly delicious. It also freezes/refrigerates well for a lazy Sunday dinner.

      • Junepoppies says:

        I guess I phrased my last comment wrong. I have tried it. We both love it. It is fantastic! Thanks for posting it!

  5. Bali Tour says:

    it’s look nice
    Thanks for great recipe 🙂

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