16 May 2014 Italian Meat Lasagna Recipe: how to Cook it “alla Bolognese”
For our readers, lovers of the Italian cuisine, today we have a rather challenging proposal: are you ready to prepare the authentic Italian Lasagne alla Bolognese?
Our food blogger of the month will explain how it’s done. Serena Crivelli is the author of the blog Dolci Pensieri (Sweet Thoughts) and lives in the Como province with her husband and her baby Matteo. She learned to cook watching her mother, and years later, her father-in-law, also a skillful cook. In fact, Serena’s cuisine is simple, genuine and of the classic, home-cooked variety.
Preparing food as it used to be done, in other words dedicating the right amount of time, a pinch of passion and much love.
If you have a little free time and a desire to put yourself to the test, experiment with one of the most beloved, traditional Italian dishes by following Serena’s recommendations.
Lasagne alla Bolognese
Sunday lunch has almost always been an important time for my family, a tradition also kept by my husband’s family, and which I now love to recreate on the Sundays I’m at home.
The true “Sunday dinner” has always consisted of several courses that result in our remaining around the table, comfortably through the afternoon.
A dish that has always characterized this convivial time is lasagne. With whatever sauce or seasoning, it’s enough to have a few layers of that piping hot goodness on a plate.
The classic is made with Ragù alla Bolognese; the lasagna sheets are prepared the day before as the pot with the sauce bubbles on the stovetop, strictly homemade, of course!
Here’s an easy lasagna recipe!
INGREDIENTS FOR THE RAGU’ (to be prepared a day ahead, if possible):
600 grams of a mix of ground pork and beef
150 grams of fresh sausage
250 grams of cubed tomatoes
100 grams of sieved tomatoes
1 celery stalk
1 medium carrot
1 medium onion
1 peperoncino (hot pepper)
extra virgin olive oil
salt and a pinch of pepper
FOR THE PASTA:
250 grams of flour
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of salt
FOR THE BESCIAMELLA SAUCE:
100 grams of butter
80 grams of flour
1 liter of milk
100 ml of cream
salt and pepper
grated grana padano cheese
100 grams of cheese slices
100 grams of Swiss cheese slices
100 grams of cooked prosciutto (ham)
grated grana padano to taste
burro to taste
Begin to prepare the ragù that should be cooked for at least a couple of hours. Chop the celery, carrot and onion into tiny cubes and sauté them in an ample pot with extra virgin olive oil. Then mix in the finely sliced peperoncino (according to taste). Add the sausage out of its casing and cut into tiny pieces.
Let it all sauté until the sausage turns white, after which add the ground meat and brown over a high flame (if necessary, add a little hot water or broth). After eight to ten minutes, add the cubed and sieved tomatoes with a ladle of lukewarm water.
Adjust the flavor with the addition of salt and pepper. Let it all cook for a couple of hours or more. If it dries out too much, add more sieved tomatoes or lukewarm water, controlling the correct level of seasonings. If necessary, adjust with salt and pepper.
For the pasta: Mix the eggs into the flour with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, kneading with a food processor and adding lukewarm water until reaching a smooth and elastic dough.
Cover it with a humid dishcloth for thirty minutes, then knead again, but by hand, and stretch out the sheets with a pasta machine. Let it rest for about a quarter of an hour on a towel. Divide it into quarters or rectangles to fit your casserole dish.
Prepare the besciamella: Melt the butter in a saucepan over a very low flame, and with the aid of a whisk, blend in the flour, sifted to avoid lumps. Immediately dilute it with lukewarm milk, continuing to stir until the sauce thickens; from when it begins to boil, let it cook 6 to 8 minutes, continuing to stir.
Proceed with layering: Boil the water, salt it, and cook the lasagna sheets a few at a time for several minutes (for this recipe, I’ve calculated three white layers and three red layers, including the surface); lay them out to cool. Butter the casserole, laying in the first level of pasta, following with a layer of besciamella and ending with a covering of the two types of cheese.
Continue with the second layer of pasta, then with the prosciutto slices and finally with generous spoonfuls of ragù, covering the whole surface well; sprinkle with the grated grana padano.
Continue by alternating the white layers (besciamella + cheese) with the red layers (prosciutto + ragù) until you reach six layers, ending with the ragù mixed with a little besciamella, and sprinkle with the grana padano. Before putting it into the oven for a half hour, add some pats of butter.
Serve in slices, good and hot.