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Bolognese lasagna

Bolognese lasagna


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First I prepare the ragu. We clean the vegetables and cut them into pieces or put them in the robot (this way they will come out finer). Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a pot, add the vegetables and let them cook for a while. harden, add the minced meat and chew it well. Leave it until the meat has changed color, then turn off with the glass of wine. Let the wine evaporate, add the tomato juice, salt, pepper and simmer for about a minute. hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the beschamel sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add all the flour at once and chew well until it comes off the edges of the pan. Add the milk gradually, so that it has a consistency neither too liquid nor too solid. Let it boil a few. minutes, we put the nutmeg and salt to taste then we put it aside. It must be chewed continuously otherwise it will make lumps.


I assemble the lasagna like this: Grease a square tray with butter, put a thin layer of sauce mixed with a tablespoon of ragu, then place the lasagna sheets on top (I do not scald them before, but if you want you can scald them for a few minutes in salted water), a layer of sauce mixed with ragu, Parmesan cheese in abundance and so on until they make 4 layers. The last layer is of sauce mixed with ragu. Put a few pieces of butter on top, parmesan and bake at 200 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Good appetite!


HOW TO PREPARE THE BOLOGNESE LASAGNE RECIPE

First prepare the meat sauce.

Cleaned, washed and chopped celery, carrot and onion for the stir-fry.

Pour the extra virgin olive oil into a pan, heat it and add it fried vegetables.

When they are withered, add the minced meat and let it brown for 10 minutes stirring often.

Gradient with the white wine and when it has evaporated, add the tomato puree and a glass of water, salt and cook the sauce over a low flame for about 1 hour stirring occasionally.

Prepare the béchamel sauce for the green lasagna

Pour the milk into a saucepan and combine its e nutmeg, heat the milk over low heat.

In a separate saucepan melt the butter, when the butter is completely melted pour the flour 00 at once.

Remove the saucepan from the heat for a few seconds and mix the butter and béchamel sauce to avoid lump formation.

Put the butter and flour back on the gas over moderate heat and add a little hot milk continuing to mix.

At this point add the remaining milk and mix over moderate heat until béchamel sauce for lasagna it will not be very dense.

HOW TO MAKE BESCIAMELLA AND RAGU SPINACH LASAGNE

At this point you can dial the lasagna alla bolognese

In a rectangular pan place a ladle of béchamel sauce and one of ragù.

Lay down the first one puff pastry rectangle and cover it with the meat sauce and béchamel sauce.

Continue to make the layers of the green lasagna with bolognesand until all the ingredients are finished.

Sprinkle with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese and cook the spinach lasagna in an already hot oven, 180 ° static mode for about 30 minutes.

VARIANTS AND TIPS

You can also prepare lasagna Bolognese with light puff pastry.

You can prepare the meat ragout as per tradition, since there are many variations.

If you want you can use my LIGHT BESSIAMELLA.

If you liked the recipe, you might also be interested


Cook The Lasagna Sheets: Trim the sheets of lasagna as needed so they fit into your lasagna dish.

Bring a pasta pot filled with heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Prepare an ice bath by filling a bowl halfway with ice water. Also keep a rimmed baking sheet and some olive oil nearby.

Drop a few sheets of the pasta into the boiling water and let cook until they’re bright green, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Using tongs or a spider, remove the pasta sheets and plunge it into the ice water bath. Remove each lasagna sheet, spread it out on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Repeat to cook all the lasagne.

You can do this up to one day ahead of time. Store the cooked lasagna refrigerated in an airtight container and let sit at room temperature a few minutes before proceeding.

Assemble The Lasagne: Heat the oven to 375 ° F and arrange a rack in the middle. Grease a baking dish or lasagna pan with room temperature butter. Have all the ingredients - the ragu, bechamel sauce, grated Parmigiano Reggiano and the cooked pasta nearby.

Spread 1 cup of the ragu and 1/3 cup of the bechamel on the bottom of the prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it in a thin layer. Place a couple sheets of the lasagna on top so the pan is covered edge to edge (you don’t need to overlap the pasta sheets). Spread 1 cup ragu, 1/3 cup bechamel, and also add in 1 cup of the cheese. Repeat so you make 6 layers.

Garnish the top of the lasagna with the last of the bechamel and the last of the cheese.

Bake The Lasagna: Cover the pan with foil and bake the lasagna for 30 minutes on the middle rack until the cheese is melted. Remove the foil and bake another 30 minutes until the lasagna is browned on the edges and the cheese on top is golden brown.

Rest The Lasagna: Remove the lasagna from the oven and let it rest for at least 15 minutes (and up to 1 hour) before serving.

Footnotes

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More Italy On Salt & Wind Travel

Aida Mollenkamp

Aida is a food and travel expert, author, chef, Food Network personality, founder of the travel services company, Salt & Wind Travel, and partner at the creative agency and educational platform, Border Free Media. She has made her career in food travel media and hospitality and has crisscrossed the globe to search out the best food destinations.

After graduating from the Cornell Hotel School and Le Cordon Bleu Paris, she joined CHOW Magazine where she ran the test kitchen and worked as a Food Editor. Aida then moved to television, hosting the Food Network show, Ask Aida, FoodCrafters on the Cooking Channel, In The Pantry on Yahoo !, and the TasteMade series, Off Menu. Her cookbook, Keys To The Kitchen, is a go-to for home cooks who want to become more adventurous cooks and the Travel Guides For Food Lovers series she has co-authored are beloved among food travelers.

Through Border Free Media, Aida shares the lessons she’s learned as an entrepreneur with other creative businesses. From teaching our Cooking Club classes to cohosting our group trips, in all that she does Aida aims to help discerning travelers taste the world.


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Nothing too special here & ndash you & rsquoll ideally want a 9 & times13 inch Baking dish to cook your beef lasagna in. But even if you use a slightly different size, it should be fine & hellipproviding the sides are high enough!

If you like what I & rsquom doing here, and you want to help, why not go ahead and become a Patron? You can support Chocolates & Chai for as little as the price of a cup of coffee!

So & hellip? Have you tried this lasagna alla Bolognese recipe yet, bestie? Did you go for the quick store-bought hacks, or did you opt for a more traditional cooking experience? Let me know in the comments below.

Don & rsquot forget to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter for all the latest. Or just sign up to be a part of my mailing list to have updates delivered straight to your inbox!


Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 ounces 60g), plus more for greasing baking dish
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour (1.25 ounces 35g)
  • 3 cups (700ml) whole milk
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 pounds (900g) fresh homemade plain egg or spinach pasta or store-bought fresh lasagna noodles, or 2 (450g) boxes dry lasagna noodles (see note)
  • Vegetable oil, for greasing pasta
  • 1 1/2 quarts (1.5L) warm ragù bolognese (choose either this classic slow-cooked version, this extra-rich oven-baked version, or this pressure-cooker version)
  • 3 ounces (85g) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Lasagna Alla Bolognese | Authentic Italian Lasagna Recipe

Widely considered to be the original lasagna recipe, this decadent dish deserves its famed reputation. It may come with some surprises for the uninitiated, such as green pasta!

Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:

The most time-consuming part of this lasagnaâ & # x20AC; & # x2122; s preparation is making the ragù alla Bolognese. It takes several hours to simmer, so plan ahead! You can find our ragù recipe here, and in the meantime we will move forward assuming you have the sauce ready.

For this recipe, you will need:

- 6 1/4 cups (750g) all-purpose flour, plus a little extra for dusting

- 10 1/2 oz. (about 300g) spinach

- 4 1/4 cups (1 liter) whole milk

- 7 tbsp (100g) unsalted butter

- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for grating.

Bring a pot of water to boil and add the spinach. Cook until very tender. Drain and squeeze all the excess water out, then chop finely and set aside.

On a large work surface, pour 5 1/2 cups (650g) of flour into a pile. Hollow out the middle so that it resembles a volcano, and crack the eggs into this depression. Also add the chopped spinach and begin gently whisking all together with a fork. Gradually start mixing in flour from the sides of the flour volcano until the mixture thickens into a goopy substance.

Continue to work and knead the dough by hand, dusting with flour as needed. The final consistency should be smooth, uniform, and moist but not too sticky. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.

After the dough has rested, roll it out on a well-floured surface until it is quite thin — about 1 / 16th-inch thick. Flip and dust the dough as needed while you work. If you have limited space or difficulty rolling it out in one sheet, feel free to cut the dough ball into more manageable pieces and work in batches.

When the pasta has been rolled out, use a paring knife to cut it into rectangular pieces. We made our lasagna in a 10x15-inch casserole dish and found that roughly 4x6-inch pieces worked well, but feel free to adapt to the size and shape of the dish you plan on using.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt liberally. Working in batches of 3-4 sheets at a time, boil the pasta. Remove each sheet after it floats to the top of the water and spread on a tea towel to dry. Be careful not to stack the cooked sheets on top of one another without either a towel or wax paper divider as they will stick together like glue!

To make the besciamella sauce, heat the milk in a small saucepan until it is warm, but not hot. Melt the unsalted butter in another small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until it combines into a putty with the butter, then pour in the warmed milk while continuing to whisk.

Add a pinch of ground nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Stir almost continuously until the besciamella thickens into a gravy-like substance.


INGREDIENTS

To prepare lasagna alla Bolognese, start with the meat sauce. Prepare the vegetable broth and ensure to keep it warm. Then take the bacon bacon, cut it into strips first 1 and then chop it well 2. Separately, finely chop the carrots, onions, celery and set aside 3.

In a saucepan, pour the drizzle of oil and the bacon bacon. Use a ladle to spread it well 4 and let it brown for a few minutes. Then add the chopped vegetables 5 and cook for 5-6 minutes 5. Then add the minced meat 6. Stir and raise the heat. Let the meat brown slowly, it must be well browned to seal the juices and be soft.

Deglaze with red wine 7 and let it evaporate completely before adding the tomato puree 8. The Bolognese sauce must cook for two hours. When it starts boiling again, you can add some hot broth, one or two ladles 9, and let the sauce cook for another couple of hours at least.

Let it cook with the lid on, without covering the pan completely 10. Check and stir from time to time, add more broth when needed and let it cook. Now move on to the pasta. First, pour the spinach into a pan 11, add a little water, cover with a lid 12

and cook until they are wilted, it will take 5-6 minutes in total 13. At this point, drain them, let them cool and squeeze them well 14. Transfer the spinach to a mixer 15

and blend them until you get a puree 16. You will need to get approx 3.5 cups (100 g) of it. Now on a pastry board pour the semolina and 00 flour 17, add the spinach and create a fountain shape. Add the lightly beaten eggs 18

and egg yolks 19. Begin to knead everything starting from the center 20, this way the eggs will not slip out of the fountain. Knead well until you get a homogeneous dough 21.

Wrap it in plastic wrap 22 and let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. In the meantime, prepare the béchamel sauce. Heat the milk in a saucepan 23, without boiling it. In another pan, place the butter 24 and let it melt.

Add the flour in one go 25 and cook for a few minutes until you get a golden roux 26. Then, pour the hot milk in three times 27, mixing well.

Add salt and flavor with nutmeg 28. Continue to mix until you get a creamy béchamel 29. Transfer to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside. As soon as 30 minutes have elapsed, take the dough back and take a piece 30. Cover the rest of the dough with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out.

With the help of a little semolina flatten it slightly on the pastry board to form a rectangle and roll out the dough in the machine 31. Start from a wider thickness, then fold the dough and pass it over. When you feel it is too wet, sprinkle with a little semolina. Gradually reduce the thickness until you get a sheet just over 0.2 inches (0.5 mm) thick. Transfer it to a pastry board and cut into large rectangles 12x8 inches (30x20 cm) 32. Continue this way until the dough is finished and in the meantime put a pot of water on the stove and add salt. When it starts to boil, immerse one sheet at a time 33,

wait 30-40 seconds and using a skimmer drain it 34. Transfer it to a tray with a cloth 35 and dab to remove excess water. Continue this way, placing the cooked sheets side by side, without overlapping them. As soon as the Bolognese sauce is ready 36, season with salt and pepper and proceed to the composition of the lasagna.

Take a large 12x8 inches (30x20 cm) lasagna pan and grease the bottom 37. Add a thin layer of béchamel and one of Bolognese sauce 38. Then place the first sheet 39,

add a layer of béchamel and a layer of meat sauce 40. Add grated Parmesan cheese 41 and place another sheet of pasta on top 42.

Add another layer of béchamel and one of meat sauce 43, add grated cheese 44 and continue like this until you have 5 layers. After placing the last sheet, add the Bolognese sauce 5

in order to completely cover the pasta sheet 46. Sprinkle with grated cheese, add some tufts of butter 47 and bake in a preheated static oven at 338 ° F (170 ° C) for 40 minutes 48.


Bolognese Lasagna (Bolognese Lasagna)

There are many types of lasagna dishes in Italian cookery, and in each is wonderful in its own way. But to my mind there are two & # 8220Ur-lasagna& # 8220, each typifying the northern and southern poles of Italian cuisine: Lasagna for Carnival, or carnival lasagna from Campania — the kind of lasagna that nonna Angelina made — and Bolognese Lasagna, or lasagna alla bolognese, from Emilia-Romagna or, more precisely, Bologna. Both combine creamy and savory layers between large sheets of pasta, but the results, both delicious, are very different.

Today let & # 8217s look at Bolognese Lasagna. At its most essential, it is actually a rather simple dish: Ragu, béchamel, parmesan cheese and pasta are layered in a baking dish and baked until a light crust forms on top. But, of course, the reality is not quite that quick and easy, as each component (other than the cheese) requires its own preparation before the dish is assembled and baked. In fact, it is best to budget several hours, over two days, to make this classic dish.

Ingredients

Serves at least 6 persons

  • One batch of ragù alla bolognese
  • One batch of fresh egg pasta made with 4 eggs
  • One liter / quart of béchamel sauce
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, q.b.
  • Butter, q.b.

Directions

Step 1: Make the ragù: This is the real & # 8216heart & # 8217 of the dish that gives the dish its savor. Since it takes several hours to make, and benefits from an overnight & # 8216rest & # 8217, better to make your Ragu the day before. The recipe is set out in this post.

Step 2: Make the pasta: Make fresh egg pasta dough and roll it out into thin sheets following the master recipe. Then cut the sheets into lengths about as long (or wide) as the baking dish in which you plan to bake your lasagna. Take care, as the pasta will expand when it is cooked, so cut them just a bit shorter than the actual length or breadth of the pan. Since the pasta is not cut into strips as for fettuccine or taglierini, you need not dry the pasta if you & # 8217re ready to make the lasagna right away. (NB: The true & # 8216doc & # 8217 version of lasagna alla bolognese is made with spinach pasta. Will post on this one of these days.)

Step 3: Make the béchamel: Prepare the béchamel sauce, once again using the master recipe. (NB: You may not need this much béchamel, but better to have too much than too little. There are lots of uses for leftovers.)

Step 4: Cook the pasta and assemble the dish: Take your pasta sheets and simmer them, only one or two at a time, in well-salted water for just a minute or two, depending on just how thinly you & # 8217ve rolled out your pasta, and how long the pasta has been drying .

As each pasta sheet is done, fish it out of the water with a slotted spoon (the larger the better) and place it on a towel. With another towel, pat it dry. Then place the pasta sheets at the bottom of a greased baking dish, covering the entire bottom of the dish. It & # 8217s OK to overlap the sheets a bit, but if there & # 8217s too much overlap or the sheets are too big for the dish, you can always trim the cooked sheets to size.

Then add a thin layer of béchamel over the pasta, making sure to cover the entire surface of the pasta with a spatula. Lay over some of the ragù, then a generous dusting of grated parmesan cheese. (NB: Since all the components — pasta, ragu and béchamel — should be well seasoned, there should normally be no reason to season the dish as you assemble it.)

Repeat until you have run out of ingredients, or the baking dish is nearly full, or you & # 8217ve reached about four layers, ending with a layer of béchamel, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and dotted with butter. (More than that and the lasagna will not cook properly.)

Step 5: Baking the lasagne: Bake in a moderate oven (180 ° C, 350 ° F) for about 30 minutes, or until the top is just slightly browned on top (see top photo). Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

Although strictly speaking Bolognese Lasagna is a Primo, or first course to be followed by a meat dish, from reading the recipe you will readily realize that a healthy portion is a meal unto itself, perfect as a unique dish for all but the heartiest appetites.

You will see this dish made with a deep, golden brown crust on the top. I cannot say which method is more authentic, but personally I find that the crust takes away from the delicate flavor of the béchamel and cheese, and makes the dish a bit awkward to eat. The lasagna tends to spread apart when you press down with your fork and the top crust & # 8216resists & # 8217 the pressure. But anyway, different strokes and all that & # 8230

Similarly, these lasagna is best when it can rest for a while before eating. Right out of the oven, the béchamel and Ragu are still very loose and the lasagna will tend to fall apart as you cut into it, depending on how much sauce you have layered in. I usually let it rest 15 or even 30 minutes, which gives it time to compose itself and firm up enough to cut it. In fact, if you allow the lasagna (or any baked pasta dish, for that mattter) to cool off, and then reheat it gently, it will have an entirely different, solid texture, almost like a cake. Many people like it better that way.

The thickness of the pasta will also influence the ultimate outcome. For this kind of lasagna, I tend to like to roll the pasta out quite thinly, which produces a more delicate dish, at setting & # 82205 & # 8221 or thinner on my KitchenAid pasta roller.

There are various ways to cut down on the work involved in making this dish, the most common being buying the pasta rather than making it yourself, which you can certainly do. Just be careful since much of the so-called lasagna available commercially, even the & # 8216fresh & # 8217 kind (in the US at least) is not really fit for making this kind of lasagna. Look for thin sheets, not made from durum wheat flour, if you can find it. There also exist & # 8216no-cook & # 8217 lasagna, which supposedly don & # 8217t need pre-simmering and can be placed raw into the baking dish. Personally, I have never been satisfied with the resulting texture. But one short-cut is, to my mind, inexcusable: jarred, commercially made Ragu, or & # 8216bolognese sauce & # 8217 as it is sometimes called in English. It & # 8217s a travesty to be avoided at all costs. As mentioned above, the Ragu is the heart of this dish, and frankly if you need to cut corners there, you might as well just make something else that requires less time to make. And in Italy, you can even buy pre-made béchamel, but this, too, should be avoided. It tastes like glue!

Measurements: The outcome of your Bolognese Lasagna will very much depend on how much Ragu and especially béchamel you layer in between the pasta sheets. Too little and the dish will come out rather dry and not very savory, too much and the dish will be & # 8216slippery & # 8217 and rather stodgy at the same time. But between these two extremes, I & # 8217ve had lasagna made all different ways, each has its fine points. I would experiment with different ratios until you find the consistency you like best. Any easy to remember rule of thumb: Marcella Hazan recommends using about 2 cups each of Ragu and béchamel for pasta made from 2 eggs. As for myself, I usually make more than enough of both sauces and then use my eye and instinct. The leftover sauces can be used in various ways, including mixing them with rigatoni to make a simple baked pasta during the week.

Although this dish is from Bologna, it (or some variation) typifies the lasagna that will be found on tables more or less all over central and northern Italy. Although Rome is, in many ways, a southern city, it is this version of lasagna that you will most likely find in restaurants and on home tables. there Further south, béchamel sauce gives way to ricotta mixed with eggs and cheese, and Neapolitan ragout replaces ragù alla bolognese, and bits of sausage and tiny meatballs, sometimes even slices of hard boiled egg, elaborate the dish. It was this southern version, known as carnival lasagna, that nonna Angelina would make on Sundays.


Bolognese Lasagna (Bolognese Lasagna)

There are many types of lasagna dishes in Italian cookery, and in each is wonderful in its own way. But to my mind there are two & # 8220Ur-lasagna& # 8220, each typifying the northern and southern poles of Italian cuisine: Lasagna for Carnival, or carnival lasagna from Campania — the kind of lasagna that nonna Angelina made — and Bolognese Lasagna, or lasagna alla bolognese, from Emilia-Romagna or, more precisely, Bologna. Both combine creamy and savory layers between large sheets of pasta, but the results, both delicious, are very different.

Today let & # 8217s look at Bolognese Lasagna. At its most essential, it is actually a rather simple dish: Ragu, béchamel, parmesan cheese and pasta are layered in a baking dish and baked until a light crust forms on top. But, of course, the reality is not quite that quick and easy, as each component (other than the cheese) requires its own preparation before the dish is assembled and baked. In fact, it is best to budget several hours, over two days, to make this classic dish.

Ingredients

Serves at least 6 persons

  • One batch of ragù alla bolognese
  • One batch of fresh egg pasta made with 4 eggs
  • One liter / quart of béchamel sauce
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, q.b.
  • Butter, q.b.

Directions

Step 1: Make the ragù: This is the real & # 8216heart & # 8217 of the dish that gives the dish its savor. Since it takes several hours to make, and benefits from an overnight & # 8216rest & # 8217, better to make your Ragu the day before. The recipe is set out in this post.

Step 2: Make the pasta: Make fresh egg pasta dough and roll it out into thin sheets following the master recipe. Then cut the sheets into lengths about as long (or wide) as the baking dish in which you plan to bake your lasagna. Take care, as the pasta will expand when it is cooked, so cut them just a bit shorter than the actual length or breadth of the pan. Since the pasta is not cut into strips as for fettuccine or taglierini, you need not dry the pasta if you & # 8217re ready to make the lasagna right away. (NB: The true & # 8216doc & # 8217 version of lasagna alla bolognese is made with spinach pasta. Will post on this one of these days.)

Step 3: Make the béchamel: Prepare the béchamel sauce, once again using the master recipe. (NB: You may not need this much béchamel, but better to have too much than too little. There are lots of uses for leftovers.)

Step 4: Cook the pasta and assemble the dish: Take your pasta sheets and simmer them, only one or two at a time, in well-salted water for just a minute or two, depending on just how thinly you & # 8217ve rolled out your pasta, and how long the pasta has been drying .

As each pasta sheet is done, fish it out of the water with a slotted spoon (the larger the better) and place it on a towel. With another towel, pat it dry. Then place the pasta sheets at the bottom of a greased baking dish, covering the entire bottom of the dish. It & # 8217s OK to overlap the sheets a bit, but if there & # 8217s too much overlap or the sheets are too big for the dish, you can always trim the cooked sheets to size.

Then add a thin layer of béchamel over the pasta, making sure to cover the entire surface of the pasta with a spatula. Lay over some of the ragù, then a generous dusting of grated parmesan cheese. (NB: Since all the components — pasta, ragu and béchamel — should be well seasoned, there should normally be no reason to season the dish as you assemble it.)

Repeat until you have run out of ingredients, or the baking dish is nearly full, or you & # 8217ve reached about four layers, ending with a layer of béchamel, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and dotted with butter. (More than that and the lasagna will not cook properly.)

Step 5: Baking the lasagne: Bake in a moderate oven (180 ° C, 350 ° F) for about 30 minutes, or until the top is just slightly browned on top (see top photo). Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

Although strictly speaking Bolognese Lasagna is a Primo, or first course to be followed by a meat dish, from reading the recipe you will readily realize that a healthy portion is a meal unto itself, perfect as a unique dish for all but the heartiest appetites.

You will see this dish made with a deep, golden brown crust on the top. I cannot say which method is more authentic, but personally I find that the crust takes away from the delicate flavor of the béchamel and cheese, and makes the dish a bit awkward to eat. The lasagna tends to spread apart when you press down with your fork and the top crust & # 8216resists & # 8217 the pressure. But anyway, different strokes and all that & # 8230

Similarly, these lasagna is best when it can rest for a while before eating. Right out of the oven, the béchamel and Ragu are still very loose and the lasagna will tend to fall apart as you cut into it, depending on how much sauce you have layered in. I usually let it rest 15 or even 30 minutes, which gives it time to compose itself and firm up enough to cut it. In fact, if you allow the lasagna (or any baked pasta dish, for that mattter) to cool off, and then reheat it gently, it will have an entirely different, solid texture, almost like a cake. Many people like it better that way.

The thickness of the pasta will also influence the ultimate outcome. For this kind of lasagna, I tend to like to roll the pasta out quite thinly, which produces a more delicate dish, at setting & # 82205 & # 8221 or thinner on my KitchenAid pasta roller.

There are various ways to cut down on the work involved in making this dish, the most common being buying the pasta rather than making it yourself, which you can certainly do. Just be careful since much of the so-called lasagna available commercially, even the & # 8216fresh & # 8217 kind (in the US at least) is not really fit for making this kind of lasagna. Look for thin sheets, not made from durum wheat flour, if you can find it. There also exist & # 8216no-cook & # 8217 lasagna, which supposedly don & # 8217t need pre-simmering and can be placed raw into the baking dish. Personally, I have never been satisfied with the resulting texture. But one short-cut is, to my mind, inexcusable: jarred, commercially made Ragu, or & # 8216bolognese sauce & # 8217 as it is sometimes called in English. It & # 8217s a travesty to be avoided at all costs. As mentioned above, the Ragu is the heart of this dish, and frankly if you need to cut corners there, you might as well just make something else that requires less time to make. And in Italy, you can even buy pre-made béchamel, but this, too, should be avoided. It tastes like glue!

Measurements: The outcome of your Bolognese Lasagna will very much depend on how much Ragu and especially béchamel you layer in between the pasta sheets. Too little and the dish will come out rather dry and not very savory, too much and the dish will be & # 8216slippery & # 8217 and rather stodgy at the same time. But between these two extremes, I & # 8217ve had lasagne made all different ways, each has its fine points. I would experiment with different ratios until you find the consistency you like best. Any easy to remember rule of thumb: Marcella Hazan recommends using about 2 cups each of Ragu and béchamel for pasta made from 2 eggs. As for myself, I usually make more than enough of both sauces and then use my eye and instinct. The leftover sauces can be used in various ways, including mixing them with rigatoni to make a simple baked pasta during the week.

Although this dish is from Bologna, it (or some variation) typifies the lasagna that will be found on tables more or less all over central and northern Italy. Although Rome is, in many ways, a southern city, it is this version of lasagna that you will most likely find in restaurants and on home tables. there Further south, béchamel sauce gives way to ricotta mixed with eggs and cheese, and ragù alla napoletana replaces ragù alla bolognese, and bits of sausage and tiny meatballs, sometimes even slices of hard boiled egg, elaborate the dish. It was this southern version, known as lasagna di carnevale, that nonna Angelina would make on Sundays.


Lasagne alla Bolognese, the Original Recipe

Ingredients for 4 servings
Time 1 hour

1 lb 6 oz béchamel sauce, 1 lb 6 oz ragù, 1 lb fresh lasagna sheets, Parmigiano Reggiano Pdo, butter, salt

Bring abundant salted water to the boil and cook the lasagna sheets for 30 seconds, then drain and place in a bowl of cold water. Dry on a clean dishcloth. Lightly butter a casserole dish and spread a spoonful of béchamel sauce and one of ragù on the bottom. Place a layer of lasagna on top overlapping them a little and letting them hang over the edges.


On top of the pasta, layer the ragù, béchamel sauce, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and lasagna sheets.

Continue alternating the ingredients – ragù, béchamel sauce, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and lasagna sheets – until there is no more left. Fold up the excess pasta to cover the filling and finish with a layer of béchamel sauce, a handful of parmesan cheese and small spoonfuls of ragù. Place in the oven at 170 °C for approx. 20-25’ until golden. Take out and serve after 5-10’.


Lasagna alla Bolognese

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Our version of this classic dish is straightforward and hearty, with layers of Ragu alla Bolognese and Béchamel Sauce.

Game plan: You can prepare this recipe a day ahead through step 3. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 1 day allow to come to room temperature before baking.

Instructions

  1. 1 Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Spread 2 cups of the Bolognese sauce in a thin layer over the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
  2. 2 Construct the lasagna by layering 4 noodles over the sauce. Top with another 2 cups Bolognese sauce and spread it evenly to the edges of the dish cover with 1/4 (3 ounces) of the sliced provolone cheese. Spread 1 cup of the béchamel sauce in a thin layer and top with 1/4 cup of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
  3. 3 Place the next layer of lasagna noodles perpendicular to the direction of the first layer and top with another layer of filling (using the same amounts of ingredients as above). Repeat 2 more times, being sure to place each layer of lasagna noodles perpendicular to the previous layer.
  4. 4 Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil. Place on the center rack of the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Remove the foil and continue baking until the edges are brown and the noodles are completely tender, about 20 minutes more. Allow to stand for 20 to 30 minutes before slicing.

Beverage pairing: Fattoria Zerbina Torre di Ceparano Sangiovese di Romagna, Italy. It’s always safe to go for Italian wine with Italian food, especially wine from the same region as the dish. This light, elegant, and perky Sangiovese vibrates with tart cherry, coffee, and minty notes, and will be a refreshing partner for the lasagna. If you can’t find Sangiovese di Romagna, then a Chianti or Rosso di Montalcino (both Sangiovese-based) will do nicely.