Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lasagne alla Bolognese

You don't have to be Italian to love lasagna! My parents were both from Northern Italy (near Trieste) but for some unknown reason, my mama never made lasagne. I began making lasagne after I married and this is one of my favorite lasagne recipes. 

Bologna is the largest city of the Emilia-Romagna Region in Northern Italy. It is the seventh most populated in Italy, and the heart of a metropolitan area of about one million. Bologna is also one of the wealthiest cities in Italy, often ranking as one of the top cities in terms of quality of life in the country.

The key for a perfect Lasagne alla Bolognese is the Ragu’ sauce, that needs to be cooked for at least one hour at a very low heat.

Enjoy it with a nice Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir and some warm, crusty bread.

Ingredients Needed:
For the Lasagne --
  • 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
  • 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 dried)
How to Make It:
For the Ragu' --
  • In a medium sauce pan put olive oil, butter, chopped onion, carrot and celery and heat until the onion became golden.
  • Reduce the heat and add all the ground meats, stirring constantly.
  • Pour the red wine, simmer until reduced (about 2 minutes) then add tomato sauce, one beef bouillon cube, basil and black pepper.
  • Reduce the heat as low as possible and cover the pan with the lid.
  • Cook for at least one hour and remember to stir very often. If the sauce became too thick add half glass of hot water.
For the Lasagne --
  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
  • Prepare a Béchamel sauce heating the butter until it melts, then add the flour and stir very well smooth and yellow. Remove the butter mixture from heat and pour in hot milk, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to boil , add the nutmeg and stir constantly until just thick. Set aside.
  • Grease the bottom of a rectangular pan with a knob of butter and spread the bottom of the pan with a couple of tablespoons of Ragu'.
  • Make a layer with enough lasagne to cover the pan.
  • Cover the lasagne with ragu’, then Béchamel sauce and sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano. Repeat the process (Lasagne, 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.

Call your family to the table and ENJOY!!!!

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