Lasagna from scratch

March 22, 2010

Our wonderful Italian chef E taught us how to make lasagna from scratch today! I have to warn that the process is quite labor intensive and time consuming, but totally worth it. This recipe will feed approximately 6 normal people, or 4 hungry Saville inhabitants 🙂 We also found that the recipe makes extra pasta and ragĂș alla bolognese, so we were able to pack tagliatelle with ragĂș for lunch!

Lasagna (feeds 6 people, in a 9×13” pan)

1. Make ragĂș alla bolognese
2. Make besciamella sauce
3. Make pasta, or boil bought pasta according to package directions
4. Preheat oven at 400°F
5. Coat the pan with butter
6. Make a thin layer of besciamella
7. Layer pasta
8. Layer ragu (when layering, make sure to avoid the oily parts of the sauce)
9. Layer besciamella
10. Layer parmesan/grano padano cheese
11. Repeat layers from pasta
12. Make approximately 4-5 layers, the last layer should be topped with cheese
13. Put the lasagna in the oven to cook for approx 30 mins. Make sure to check periodically to prevent burning.
Once the lasagna is taken out of the oven, let cool for 10 mins before serving.

RagĂș alla Bolognese

1.5 cups (approx 2 stalks) Celery
1.5 cups (approx 1 large) Onion
1.5 cups (approx 1.5 large) Carrots
3-4 cloves garlic
2 lb Ground Meat
Fresh Rosemary (if possible, if not, dried is fine)
2 cans 14 oz Diced Tomatoes
1/4 cups Olive Oil
0.5 cup White Wine

1. Dice all the vegetables to fine pieces, as small as possible.
2. Start sauteing onions in 1/4 cups olive oil. Add whole cloves of garlic.
3. When the onions are translucent and cooked, add celery and carrots. Cover and cook at low heat until all the vegetables are softened. Make sure to stir occasionally.
4. Once the vegetable is cooked, add ground meat, mix well as the meat cooks.
5. When the meat is cooked, increase the heat to high and add in the white wine. Mix to let the wine evaporate.
6. Cook in med/high heat for approx 10 mins, to let all the liquid evaporate off.
7. Add the diced tomatoes and mix.
8. Heat at low heat for approx 3 hours, mixing and checking every 30 mins.
9. At 2 hours, add a sprig of fresh rosemary. Try not to break the rosemary apart.
10. At 3 hours most of the water from the sauce should have evaporated, add salt to taste.
Sometimes, pepper can be added to taste.

Besciamella

3 tbsp butter
Approx 6 tbsp flour
0.3 gallon milk
3 shakes nutmeg
Salt to taste

1. Make a roux by melting butter and letting flour incorporate (low heat)
2. Add milk to mixture slowly (mid heat). Let the milk incorporate in the roux so that there would be no clumps.
3. Let mixture simmer and boil for approx 5 mins
4. Add nutmeg and salt to taste.

Fresh Egg Pasta Recipe
1.5 lbs

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
4 medium eggs, lightly beaten
5-6 tbsp water

1. Put all mixture in bread maker, with water and eggs first.
2. Use the dough function of the bread maker.
3. Check the dough every few minutes in case it needs more water or flour. The dough needs to be elastic and compact.
4. Stop the bread maker at 15-20 minutes. The dough needs to come out, or else the bread maker will try to rise the dough
5. Cut dough in quarters, spread dough as thin as possible.
6. Cut dough in desired sizes
7. Boil water with salt and olive oil
8. Once the water is boiling, boil pasta until it floats and looks a little translucent (should take 2-4 minutes)

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