11.2.2023, recipes, notes   

    This is a decadent, luxurious lasagna. Save this recipe, try it, and let us know what you think. Be intuitive with the recipe: taste often, and make adjustments if you feel you need them. Add more broth to the ragu if it evaporates too quickly, more tomato paste if you like a rich flavor; this recipe will adapt to your palate.
    If you assemble the lasagna and realize you have leftover ragu, this is a really good situation to be in. Save it for pasta alla bolognese, tacos de canasta (sharing recipe soon), picadillo…email me us you need more ideas. Don’t toss extra bechamel either. You can make creamed spinach, gravy for biscuits, email us.
     We recommend making the lasagna ahead and aging it in the fridge. Day-of lasagna is good, but reheated lasagna is less sloppy, has heightened flavors and is really easy to take to work.

For the ragu:
4-6 carrots, minced
2 stalk of celery, minced
1 large white onion, finely chopped
800g ground beef
500g ground pork
1 can tomato paste
600g passata or tomato purée
250ml dry white wine
1 liter chicken stock
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil

For the bechamel:
40g butter
40g flour
1/2 liter full fat milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
70g freshly grated parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste

For the assembly:
Aprox 500g of lasagna pasta sheets (dry or fresh)
Shredded mozarella cheese or fresh mozzarella balls, torn
Start with the ragu. Cook the carrots, celery and onion in a large pot with olive oil. Add the meat and cook everything until browned.

Add the wine and reduce. Add the tomato paste, tomato purée, herbs and half of the stock. Mix everything, and continue to cook uncovered for 2-2 1/2 hours adding the rest of the stock every 30 minutes or so. Stir the bottom of the pot often to prevent burning.

You can prepare the bechamel while the ragu is cooking. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the flour and combine with a whisk. Slowly add the milk and whisk until the flour is cooked, about 20 min. It’s important to whisk continuously while the sauce cooks. Add the nutmeg, salt, pepper and parmesan to taste. You can add more milk if you like the sauce thin.

To assemble, choose an oven grade dish deep enough for at least two layers of pasta. I used a loaf pan. Start by adding a thin layer of the ragu and bechamel just so the first pasta sheets have something to lay on (and cook in if you’re using dry pasta), then add one layer of pasta sheets, a layer of ragu, a layer of bechamel, shredded cheese and repeat. The top and final layer can be pasta or sauce, just remember to cover generously with mozzarella.

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350F/180C. Allow to rest 15 minutes before slicing.

Notes on Toast  © 2024