Italian Food - Lasagna Bolognese
What is Balsamic Vinegar?
- What is Balsamic Vinegar
What is balsamic vinegar? It is not a wine vinegar. Learn about the history and making of balsamic vinegar
- Balsamic vinegar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
What is Lambrusco Wine?
- Not So Fast: Don’t Dismiss Lambruscos - New York Times
Lambrusco, a fizzy, semisweet confection once associated with the wine-cooler craze of the 1970s, deserves a fresh new look.
- Lambrusco - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Emilia Romagna is the home of balsamic vinegar, lambrusco, morta della and Parmigiano Reggiano. It’s capital, Bologna, is famous for its Bolognese sauce which is somewhat different than a traditional spaghetti sauce since lasagna Bolognese is made with layers of Béchamel sauce rather than with Ricotta cheese.
In Italy, pancetta and authentic Parmigianno Reggiano at eighteen dollars a pound would be used, but I have modified the recipe slightly to make it more affordable. You can use the more expensive ingredients if you choose.
You will also notice that I call for a cup of cream to finish off the sauce rather than milk, which many recipes call for. I believe that the cream gives the sauce a smoothness that you can’t get with milk.
My wife, who has severe stomach problems and has trouble eating tomato based sauces, says that the cream makes this sauce much more agreeable for her.
I also like to use ribbed lasagna if possible and to undercook the lasagna noodles slightly so that they will stay al dente. Using Italian pasta also seems to help since a lot of the commercial American pasta has a tendency to get mushy.
60 Minutes @ 350F
Ingredients for the Bolognese Sauce:
2 Oz. of Pancetta or Bacon diced
1 Oz. Unsalted Butter
One Medium Onion peeled and finely chopped
1 Celery Stalk finely chopped
1 Carrot finely chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic peeled and finely chopped
8 Oz. Ground Beef
8 Oz. Ground Pork or Italian Sausage
1 28 Oz. Can of Whole Peeled tomatoes
¼ Teaspoon Ground Allspice
1 Teaspoon of Salt
½ Teaspoon of Pepper
1 Cup of Cream
Ingredients for the Béchamel Sauce:
2 Cups of Whole Milk
¼ Cup Unsalted Butter
¼ Cup of Flour
¼ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1 Lb. of Ribbed Lasagna (preferably Italian pasta)
1 Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese (domestic will do)
- Heat the butter, bacon, onions, carrots and celery in a large skillet, and cook over moderate heat until they start to brown. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Add the ground meat, the garlic and the allspice and simmer for about 10 minutes until the meat is browned.
- Stir in the tomatoes and break them into pieces with a wooden spoon.
- Add one cup of water or stock and simmer the sauce for at least an hour. Adjust the salt level if necessary.
- Stir in the cream (or milk) and simmer for 30 more minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the Béchamel sauce in a small saucepan. Melt the butter but do not let it brown.
- Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon to make a light roux.
- Gradually add the milk while stirring constantly. (It may help if you warm the milk first).
- Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and adjust the consistency if necessary.
- Stir in the nutmeg and add salt and pepper to taste.
Assembling the Lasagna:
- Boil the lasagna noodles according to the directions on the package but about two minutes less to keep them firm. Drain them and rinse them with cold water.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and set out an 8 inch by 12-inch baking dish that is 3 inches deep. Butter or spray the dish with oil to prevent sticking.
- Add 1/3 of the noodles, 1/3 of the meat sauce and 1/3 of the Béchamel sauce.
- Repeat with two more layers finishing up with the Béchamel sauce on top.
- Bake for one hour at 350 F until the surface is lightly browned and serve with some crusty Italian bread and a tossed salad.
How to make Bechamel Sauce
Bologna Italy in Emilia Romagna
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