Lasagne are wide, rolled flat, egg pasta sheets but commonly this term refers to a main dish made with several layers of lasagne sheets alternated with sauces and other ingredients. When we (the Italians) talk about lasagne we usually mean Lasagne alla Bolognese, the typical first course (primo piatto) from the city of Bologna (Emilia-Romagna region) made with lasagne sheets, ragù (meat sauce), béchamel sauce and Parmigiano Reggiano DOP (authentic Italian parmesan cheese). Although this dish is worldwide known as LASAGNA and pronounced Lasanya, let’s call it the Italian way : LASAGNE [laˈzaɲɲe].
Pair this beautiful dish with Chianti or Barbera wine.
L.A.-based Italian food writer Ale Gambini presents traditional Milanese and Northern Italian dishes, handed down from her beloved Nonna Fernanda. Nearly a century of authentic Italian recipes, accurately explained step-by-step, prepared using only the freshest, finest and healthiest ingredients that are native to the region of Lombardy and Northern Italy in general. This book includes the staples of the Milanese cuisine such as Milanese risotto, veal ossobuco and Panettone (Christmas sweet bread).
A Queen In The Kitchen is published by SuperOttO publishing:
Recipe by Ale Gambini – Photo by Maurizio “OttO” De Togni
Servings : 4-6
Difficulty : intermediate
Prep Time : 30 min.
Cook Time : 1h 30 min.
ragu’ sauce, see recipe below
9 oz lasagne (rolled flat egg pasta)
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1 pinch grounded nutmeg
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
For the ragu’:
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork (for a milder taste use 0.25 lb ground pork and 0.25 lb ground chicken)
1 beef bouillon cube
30 oz of organic tomato sauce (vine ripened tomatoes)
1 cup of red wine
1 pinch of ground black pepper
3 leaves of basil (washed and pat-dried)
For the ragu’:
In a medium sauce pan, place olive oil, butter, chopped onion, carrot and celery and saute’ until the onion turns golden.
Reduce the heat and add both beef and pork ground meats, stirring constantly until browned.
Add the red wine, simmer until reduced by half (about 2 minutes) then add tomato sauce, basil, black pepper and salt to taste.
Reduce the heat as low as possible and partially cover the pan.
Cook for at least one hour and remember to stir very often. If the sauce gets too thick add half glass of hot water.
Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Prepare the Béchamel sauce by heating the butter until it melts, remove from heat then add the flour by whisking until smooth and pale yellow. Slowly pour in the scalded milk, whisking continuously. Return to a boil, add the nutmeg and stir until just thick. Set aside.
Grease the bottom of a rectangular baking dish with a knob of butter and cover the bottom with a couple of tablespoons of ragu’.
Make a layer with enough lasagne sheets to cover the dish.
Cover the lasagne sheets with ragu’, then Béchamel sauce and sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano. Repeat the process (lasagne sheets, ragu’, Béchamel, Parmigiano Reggiano) until you have four layers of pasta. The top layer should be Béchamel sauce sprinkled with Parmigiano Reggiano.
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the edges are browned and the sauces are bubbling.
Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.
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