Sunday, October 5, 2008

Lasagna Bolognese

We love lasagna!

I used to make 'speedy lasagna' - browning ground beef and mixin' in jarred spaghetti sauce. It was simple to make and tasted pretty good.
Or, so I thought.
I've only made THIS a couple times now; it's a real time sync, but I prefer this version any day. It takes just over 3hrs from prep to finish, but it's worth it.

Preheat oven to 425F.
Set rack to the middle of the oven.

Lasagna Bolognese (Adapted from Cook's Illustrated)
Meat Sauce
1 carrot
1 celery rib
1/2 onion
1 can diced tomatoes (with basil and garlic)
2 thick cut bacon, chopped
1 pound ground beef
3/4 pound ground hot Italian sausage
1 1/2 C whole milk
1 1/2 C white wine
2 T tomato paste
1 tsp salt
ground black pepper

1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
4-cheese italian blend

Roughly chop onions, carrots and celery.
Pulse in a mini-processor until finely chopped.

Okay, bacon wasn't in the orig. recipe, but it makes everything taste better, don't you think?
Saute bacon. Add celery, carrot and onion mixture and cook until softened; 4 min. on medium heat.
Add meat and sausage (the recipe called for veal and pork, but I really like the flavor that comes from the hot Italian sausage). Cook, breaking up into small pieces.

Add milk, bring to a simmer and cook until liquid has evaporated - about 25 minutes.

I like to have small bottles of wine on hand for cooking.
Add wine, bring to a simmer and cook until liquid has evaporated - about 25 minutes.

Add tomato paste and cook for 1 min. I like these diced tomatoes with Basil and Garlic for added flavor. Add the diced tomatoes, salt & pepper.

Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15 min. Cool.

4 T butter (unsalted)
1/4 C all-purpose flour
4 C whole milk
3/4 tsp salt

Melt butter over medium heat; add flour and cook, whisking constantly for about 2 mintues. Don't brown. Gradually add milk, bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Add salt, lower heat and simmer for 10 min. Cool.

Add 3/4 C of béchamel to the meat sauce. Combine well.

Soak the no-boil noodles in hot tap water for 5 minutes. Drain on towels.

Lightly grease a 9x13" pan. Place 1 C of meat sauce into bottom of pan. Layer 3 noodles, meat sauce, 1/3 C béchamel and top with 1/3 C cheese blend. Repeat layering 3 more times, covering the top completely with the béchamel sauce.

Dev loves the taste of FRESH mozzarella! He cut some up to add that extra ZING! to this dish.

Cover pan and bake at 425F. for 30 min.
Raise heat to 450F., remove foil and bake for and additional 15 min.

Cool for 25+ minutes. Allow to set - it will be pretty running if served too hot.

Garlic Toast

Simmer garlic in butter, brush onto french toast slices and grill.

Dinner is served!

Wine pairing: Chianti Classiso, 2005 Riserva.
I heard Sangiovese wines pair well with tomato based pasta... they do!


Augie said...

Stumpy Munchies?!?! (in Chekov voice.)--->Oh no! Great idea, but I think I just gained 10lbs. just reading the blog.

Joe Kresoja said...

this looks so good.