Yes! Here is a quick and easy way to make a delicious lasagna using the ground veal I often find in my (and your) neighborhood markets.
At close to seven dollars a pound, ground veal is more expensive than the leanest ground beef, but there is a huge difference in the flavor.
It is sad to often see it “reduced for quick sale” because of its price. When it is available at a reduced price, comparable to lean ground beef, it is the perfect time to try it in a recipe. Grab a pack while it is being discounted by the butcher!
You know the market will eventually throw out the meat so why not buy it at a reasonable price?
I bought three packs of ground veal because I always try to double the recipe and make enough to freeze for quick and easy meals.
- 3 1/2 pounds of Catelli® ground veal
- 2 – 24 oz. jars Barilla® Mushroom all natural tomato sauce
- 2 – 15 oz. jars Bertolli® Alfredo Sauce with Aged Parmesan
- 2 – 0.75 oz. Lucinda’s® Dried Chanterelle Mushroom cell packs (you can replace these with sliced button mushrooms)
- 1 – 8 oz. pack of sliced “Baby Bella” portobello mushsrooms
- 1 box of Barilla® Oven Ready flat lasagna noodles (1 box is enough for a 9 x 13 inch pan and enough for 2 square pans)
A double pack of 8 inch square foil “Cook, Carry and Serve” cake pans or a large lasagna pan
- 2 large onions, minced
- 6 large garlic cloves, minced
- A few tablespoons of olive oil and 2 to 4 tablespoons of butter
- salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
My veal and mushroom lasagna recipe is a take on a recipe for Veal Lasagna found in a French cooking magazine. While they created a béchamel sauce from scratch to prepare the recipe, I opted for the semi-homemade approach and a few tweaks.
I always do that anyway but, in this case, it was more to prove that the recipe can be prepared quickly. I am all for cutting corners when it improves or does not radically change the overall flavor quotient!
Why use plain tomato sauce when you can buy it seasoned?
Why make the béchamel when you can speed up the cooking process by selecting a flavorful alfredo sauce already seasoned with parmesan…and then add freshly grated parmesan to add another layer of flavor?
How I Prepared Veal and Mushroom Lasagna
If you plan on using the dried mushrooms, place them in a small bowl and pour about 2/4 cup of hot water over them. Stir to get all the pieces wet and allow to stand for about half an hour. If you are lucky enough to find fresh Chanterelles mushrooms, by all means, use the fresh ones. You can also opt to buy a third pack of sliced baby bellas to replace the expensive shrooms.
Chop the onions into the smallest pieces possible. It is difficult to mince the onions although I have coarse shredded them on a grater to achieve similar results. The idea is to have them get soft as quickly as possible and disappear in the meat mixture. Mince the garlic. Set aside.
In a small amount of olive oil and butter, sauté the mushrooms until they begin to soften. Add the onion and garlic mixture. Combine well and cook until the onions are soft and the mushrooms are golden brown.
Start browning the veal over medium-high heat. Add the mushroom/onions/garlic mixture and combine well. Simmer until the pink is all gone! Drain any fat from the meat mixture.
Add the tomato sauce. Stir well and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Butter the lasagna pans. Place the lasagna noodles evenly across the bottom of the lasagna pan, overlapping if necessary. Ladle some of the meat over the pasta. Spread evenly. Place another layer of lasagna noodles over the meat. Spread the alfredo sauce evenly across this sheets of pasta and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan.
Spread the meat sauce over the béchamel and then place the last layer of pasta over the meat. Top with the remaining white sauce. Sprinkle with more parmesan.
Bake the veal lasagna at 350 degrees for about 30 to 45 minutes until the surface becomes golden brown and the contents are bubbly.
Allow to cool and set for about 15 minutes before cutting into the veal lasagna. By the way, wide lasagna servers make the job of transferring the pasta to the plate easy as pie.
Serve your veal and mushroom lasagna with a crisp Meditarrenan style green salad tossed with a garlicky vinaigrette and a fresh baguette. A glass of red wine will be nice to sip on. Pick a fruity dessert to top it all off.