YIELD Makes 6 to 8
This slow-cooked, savory Italian dish puts the basic lasagna to shame. Each layer is loaded with a rich combination of meaty, veggie goodness, along with bolognese and bechamel sauce -- and we can't forget the cheese.
|2||Tablespoons vegetable oil|
|3/4||cup chopped onion|
|1||cup chopped celery|
|1||cup chopped carrot|
|1/2||pound pancetta, diced|
|1 1/4||pound ground beef chuck|
|1 1/2||cups dry white wine|
|2 1/2||canned imported Italian Plum Tomatoes, cut with their juices|
|pinch of nutmeg, ground|
|1||pound fresh lasagna noodles|
|3||Tablespoons olive oil|
|1/2||cup fresh grated parmesan cheese|
- Put the oil, butter, and chopped onion in a pot, and turn the heat on to medium.
- And the pancetta and onion. Cook and stir until the pancetta has rendered and the onion has become translucent, then add the chopped celery and carrot. Cook for about two minutes, stirring the vegetables to coat them.
- Add the ground beef, a large pinch of salt, and a few grindings of pepper. Crumble the meat with a fork, stir well, and cook until the beef has lost it’s raw, red color.
- Add the wine, let it simmer until it has evaporated, then add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat all the ingredients well.
- When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn the heat down so that the sauce cooks at the laziest of simmers, with just an intermittent bubble breaking through to the surface. Cook, uncovered, for 3 hours or more, stirring from time to time.
- While the sauce is cooking, you are likely to find that it begins to dry out and the fat separates from the meat.
- To keep it from sticking, continue the cooking and adding a 1/2 cup of water when necessary. At the end, however, no water at all must be left and the fat must separate from the sauce. Taste and correct for salt.
- Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly to avoid burning the flour.
- Pour in the milk, continue to whisk constantly until it begins to boil.
- Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Lower the heat, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
- Remove the pan from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Lasagna Noodles & Layering
- Cook the fresh lasagna noodles in boiling salted water for 3 minutes and strain.
if you’re using dried lasagna noodles then make sure the cook for 11 minutes in salted boiling water before using and then proceed in the same fashion as stated above.
- Toss the noodles with olive oil and begin layering a small casserole dish by placing on the bottom of the dish one noodle, then evenly spread a layer of the bolegnese sauce and over that spread a layer of béchamel sauce, then another layer of pasta and repeat this procedure until you’ve used all of the pasta and both sauces, creating a layered effect of both the pasta and the sauces. Once the top layer of béchamel sauce is spread over the top, spring over it a fine layer of grated fresh parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes at 400 degrees or until the top layer of cheese is golden brown.