This is probably the longest it’s been between posts. Too many things going on and too many places to be at once. Sometimes you just have to let some things go and go back to Step 1: priortizing. But since I owe you all for being MIA for so long, it only makes sense that I give you the best recipe I have. Yes, I did say the best. Here is the slow and divine lasagna. Enjoy.
Adapted from Simply Recipes
- 2 oz. Diced pancetta, finely chopped
- 1 Medium Spanish onion or yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 Stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1 Carrot, finely chopped
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 11 oz Ground beef
- 4 oz Ground pork
- 4 oz Ground Italian sausage
- 1 freshly ground clove
- Dash of freshly ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 lb peeled and chopped tomatoes (or 1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes, just break it up when you add to pan)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
- 16 sheets of De Cecco or other brand Italian lasagna noodles (don’t get no boil!)
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Add pancetta, onion, celery, and carrot to a sauté pan with butter. Cook over medium heat until onion turns pale gold. This is the soffritto.
- Add the beef, pork, sausage to the soffritto. Increase the heat to high and cook until browned. Sprinkle the mixture with the clove, cinnamon, and pepper.
- Stir tomatoes into the saute pan, bring it to a simmer and then reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 15 minutes.
- Add milk to the mixture, and season with sea salt. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 2 and 1/2 hours. Stir a little every 20 minutes. You can add 1/4 cup of water to the mixture everytime the sauce becomes dry and sticky to the bottom. With the added water, scrape up the browned bits from the bottom and continue to cook.
- Heat the milk until almost boiling in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.
- In a separate pan melt the unsalted butter with the flour over low heat. Stir rapidly with a spoon. Cook this for 1 minute and then remove from the heat. (See Wikipedia on Béchamel Sauce for more information on this sauce.)
- Stir constantly while slowly add half the hot milk to your butter and flour mixture.
- Return the milk, butter, flour mixture to low heat until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the remaining milk slowly while stirring into the thickened sauce. Continue to stir until it comes to a boil.
- Season with some sea salt, and continue stirring. If any lumps form, use a whisk and rapidly break them up. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook the lasagna according to box instructions. About 8 minutes in 6 quarts of boiling salted water. Drain, rinse with cold water. Lay the individual lasagna noodles out on kitchen towels or parchment paper, not touching, so they do not stick together while you layer the casserole.
- Spread a little olive oil around the inside of a 13×9-inch baking pan. Make sure your baking pan is non-reactive – pyrex or stainless steel. Put a layer of lasagna noodles down first. Layer on a third of the bolognese sauce, then a third of the bechamel sauce. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Repeat two more times. Top with a final layer of noodles and sprinkle with grated Parmesan.
- Tent the casserole with aluminum foil. Put lasagna into the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the top begins to get lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.