When I first started making this dish I used the traditional Italian-American recipe with ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, but I have since changed to this recipe which uses a cream sauce flavored with Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese. It is lighter and, to my taste, more delicate and delicious.
For the cream sauce:
3 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
3 cups tomato sauce
9 or 10 meatballs, sliced, from my Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs recipe
1 package Barilla no-cook lasagne noodles
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add the flour, stir and cook for 2 or 3 minutes to eliminate the floury taste. Slowly add the milk in ½ cup increments, whisking until smooth between each addition. Finally add the cream, whisking constantly. Cook until the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, still whisking, for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the nutmeg and salt and half the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
In a 3 quart casserole, spread a layer of tomato sauce, top with about 1 cup of the cream sauce. Top this with a layer of lasagne noodles. Top with a layer of tomato sauce, to[ with 1 cup of cream sauce and add a layer of meatball slices, sprinkle with grated cheese. Top with noodles. Repeat two more times and top with tomato sauce and a final layer of cream sauce. Sprinkle with remaining grated cheese.
Bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes or until bubbling gently. Or refrigerate until 1¾ hours before serving. Let come to room temperature for an hour and then bake as above. Allow to rest 15 minutes before serving.
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