Buttermilk Lasagna

Buttermilk Lasagna
Staff Writer
Colin Clark

This lasagna is something different and special, most notably because the sauce is made entirely of buttermilk, which works beautifully, making a creamy béchamel with a flavor that hints of butter but without the fat.

If you don’t have your own tomato sauce from the garden, try to buy San Marzano tomatoes in the can — I think they are hands down the most flavorful canned tomato. This dish is surprisingly uncomplicated to put together, despite the fact that I skip the alluring ease of no-cook lasagna noodles and use the traditional kind. The no-cook kind have their place in a busy kitchen, but they lack the robust texture and flavor of old-fashioned lasagna noodles.

8
Servings
835
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Ingredients

For the meat sauce

  • 1 Pound lean ground beef, such as ground sirloin
  • One 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes in juice
  • One 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup medium-bodied red wine, such as Merlot
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Teaspoon whole dried oregano leaves (not ground oregano)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the lasagna

  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 Cups buttermilk
  • 1 Cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 Pound lasagna noodles
  • 2 Cups shredded mozzarella
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

For the meat sauce

To make the sauce, brown the ground beef in a large saucepan over medium heat, 8 to 10 minutes. Spoon off and discard any excess fat.

Add all of the tomatoes, crushing the whole tomatoes with the back of a spoon against the side of the pan, and the wine. Add the onion halves, garlic, butter, and oregano. Bring to a boil and then decrease the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

For the lasagna

To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, just to combine. Pour in the buttermilk gradually, whisking as you go to avoid lumps, and cook until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep the sauce warm.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To assemble, put a cupful of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Add a layer of noodles, a few spoonfuls of the béchamel, and sprinkle with 1/3 of the Parmesan. Add a layer of noodles, and continue to layer tomato sauce, béchamel, Parmesan, and noodles, until completed. Cover the top layer of noodles with the shredded mozzarella and bake until bubbling and browned, about 30 minutes. Let the lasagna sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
41g
59%
Sugar
13g
14%
Saturated Fat
18g
75%
Cholesterol
101mg
34%
Carbohydrate, by difference
78g
60%
Protein
38g
83%
Vitamin A, RAE
169µg
24%
Vitamin B-12
3µg
100%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
2mg
3%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
12µg
13%
Calcium, Ca
875mg
88%
Choline, total
21mg
5%
Fiber, total dietary
3g
12%
Fluoride, F
1µg
0%
Folate, total
142µg
36%
Iron, Fe
5mg
28%
Magnesium, Mg
60mg
19%
Niacin
7mg
50%
Pantothenic acid
1mg
20%
Phosphorus, P
982mg
100%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
32µg
58%
Sodium, Na
1969mg
100%
Thiamin
1mg
91%
Water
91g
3%
Zinc, Zn
5mg
63%

Buttermilk Shopping Tip

Southern food is a mixture of Native American, Creole, and European influences. Staples of this comfort food include corn (in all its forms), honey, chicken, pork, and seafood, all easily found at any neighborhood grocery store.

Buttermilk Cooking Tip

Southern and comfort food is often rich and heavy, be sure to include lots of greens and vegetables with these dishes.