lunedì 21 maggio 2012


Entree - Main occasions

One time I've been asked the ORIGINAL recipe for lasagna. I answered that there is a different recipe for every Italian family... This is my recipe!! It may take long to prepare it but it will reward you!!!

1 pkg of Italian egg lasagna sheets (about 1 lb) or make your own
4 cups Parmigiano Reggiano (or Grana Padano), grated
2 sausages

4 cups milk
4 tbsp 00 flour

Bolognese meat sauce
1 lb ground beef (not too lean, not too fat)
3 sausages, chopped
6 tbsp of a mix of onions, carrots, celery and parsley, finely chopped
4 tbsp extra vigin olive oil
2 28oz cans Italian San Marzano
1 cup of white wine

First of all, prepare the meat sauce: warm olive oil in a big saucepan over medium heat; when ready, sautee the vegetable mix for 3-4 minutes.

Now add ground beef and sausages and cook them over high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking.

At this point you can add wine (always on high heat) and let alcohol evaporate; turn the heat to medium and add the tomatoes.

Season with salt, pepper if desired; when it starts boiling, turn heat to minimum and simmer the sauce (covered with a lid) for at least 2 1/2 hours (the longer, the better) stirring occasionally.

Remember that it's better to cook this sauce for a longer time at the lowest heat possible instead of cooking it quickly.

While the meat sauce cooks, prepare the bechamel: in a little saucepan, warm up the milk.

In another, bigger, saucepan put the flour, a pinch of salt and a pinch of nutmeg and mix; then, slowly add the warm milk whisking to prevent lumps.

Put the saucepan on medium-low heat and bring to a boil stirring constantly (to prevent sticking on bottom), then remove from heat.

Your meat sauce is still cooking... bring a pot of water to a boil and line you countertop with clean kitchen cloths (white, if possible). When water boils, add salt and 3-4 tbsp of oil.

Boil lasagna sheets, not more than 2-3 at a time, for about 2 minutes, remove with slotted spoon and line them on the cloths. Don't overlap them or they'll overcook and stick to each other.

Once you pre-cooked all you sheets, assemble the lasagna.

Preheat oven to 385.

Lightly grease the bottom of a 9x13" baking pan and spread a thin layer of bechamel and meat sauce. Layer pasta, spread with bechamel and top with meat sauce: don't overdo, 1/2" of each sauce will be enough. Sprinkle with Parmigiano and repeat until you finish ingredients.

Finish with bechamel, top with meat sauce and sprinkle with Parmigiano.

My mom's final touch: she cuts 1 or 2 sausages in rounds and put a round on each portion.

Bake on central rack for 35-40 minutes.

This recipe serves 8-12 people (depending on the number of layers and what else is served).

- Don't worry about the wine in the meat sauce, as said the alcohol evaporates, leaving just its flavor.
- The original bechamel recipe actually requires the use of butter: I avoid it and use skimmed milk to make it lighter.
- DON'T use Italian sausages: they have fennel seeds here in the United States (not in most parts of Italy) and fennel seeds are a strong flavor. You won't taste anything else.
- You can prepare bechamel and meat sauce the day before and assamble the same day.
- To have a crunchier crust on top, mix Parmigiano with and equal quantity of very fine, non-flavored breadcrumbs.

3 commenti:

  1. That is my mom's recipe, the classic emilian (better bolognese?) lasagna :))

  2. Well, I'm from Ferrara so let's call it Emilian style ;-)

  3. Questa te la dico in italiano così nessuno capisce: ho fatto un impasto di pane con aglio e prezzemolo in mezzo, un esperimento. Risultati: a me piace, a mia figlia un po', a mio figlio no, a Steve invece piace un sacco! Morale, dovevo sposarmi un Americano per far sì che apprezzasse i miei pasticci in cucina!! Aahhahah.
    Ci vediamo su fb :))