Friday, 14 December 2012

Lasagna


When in Bologna, eat lasagna... when in Dublin, do it as well!

So I'm back, I was in Dublin's fair city last weekend to see my friends and it was great, as always!

Like every time I go there I find myself in a kitchen cooking lasagna, so I decided to post another classic Italian recipe, which I think it's perfect if you have a dinner party with friends.

As we were running out of time, I used ready-made lasagna sheets (moreover my friends haven't provided me with a rolling pin yet!), but to make it better I would use home-made pasta. I'll show you how to make it in another post.

The first thing to do is the bolognese sauce (better known in Italy as ragù). I use my family recipe, the one I learned from my mum, that she learned from hers etc...

These are the ingredients:
(bear in mind I baked lasagna for 15 people, it means 2 trays. The good thing is that you can make a generous amount of sauce, or lasagna itself, and put it in the freezer).
Bechamelle and ragù: a perfect marriage

- 3 tablespoons of Evo (extra virgin olive oil)
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery sticks
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 800gr. of mince beef
- 1 1/2 glass of wine (I normally use a dry white wine)
- 1l of passata (we already talked about this in the pizza recipe)
- salt, black pepper, a pinch of sugar

1) Chop finely the carrots, celery, onion, but not the garlic (I don't like it chopped, I think the taste is too strong). Put everything in a big casserole with Evo, rosemary and bay leaves, salt, black pepper, a pinch of sugar and let sautée for 10 minutes, covered with the lid.
2) After 10 minutes add the mince beef and cook for other 10 minutes.
3) Add the wine, cover and cook until the wine has evaporated (the smell of wine shouldn't be that strong by then).
The ragù is cooking!
4) Then add the passata, cover and now let it cook for at least (I mean it!) 2 hours (or 3, 4 even better).

Note: If you want you could add half a glass of milk and/or some dried porcini mushrooms. These would give it a twist!

Here we go with the bechamelle, the white sauce. To make two rich trays of lasagna I use:
- 2l of milk
- 200gr of flour
- 200gr of butter
- salt, black pepper, nutmeg.

1) Heat the milk up (you don't want your sauce lumpy!),
2) In a casserole melt the butter and add the flour. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes.
3) Slowly keep adding the hot milk to the mixture of flour and butter. Then cook for 10 minutes at least.
4) Season with salt, black pepper and nutmeg as you like.

Then you're ready to make your lasagna. 

Start always with bolognese sauce and bechamelle on the bottomThen add a layer of pasta sheets and keep on doing this: sauces and pasta, as I'm sure you already know.

To make it more tasty, between the sauces and pasta sheets I spread a handful of Parmesan cheese!

Finish the lasagna with a layer of sauces, grated Parmesan cheese and "ribbons" of butter. Cook for 45 minutes at 180° and....


....enjoy your lasagna!

2 comments:

  1. Madre mía, Chiara, ¡todo lo que haces tiene pinta de estar buenísimo! ¡Seguro que tus amigos te tienen cocinando todo el día! ¡Qué suerte!

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  2. Dear Chiara,

    You are still so young but already cooking sooo well.
    Not only you brilliantly cook traditional dishes but you know how to add your personal creativity and originality to make it so special and so tasty. Moreover, I love the way you are so open to create new recipes of the world. The combination of all these points just make you a perfect cook :)) Well done bella and please keep on giving us all these fantastic recipes and tips.

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