Monday, May 8, 2017


I use a combination of Asiago and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in this lasagna. Asiago is similar to Parmigiano because it has a slight nutty and sweet flavor. The Ragù is enough for two lasagne or enough for another meal with pasta.

2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic
2 T extra-light olive oil or avocado oil, divided
¼ lb pancetta, diced
2 lbs lean ground beef
½ lb ground pork
¼ lb ground veal (optional)
½ cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1 (13-oz) can tomato paste

4 T unsalted butter
2 cups whole milk
1 t minced sage
1 t oregano
1 t basil
¼ t nutmeg
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ t red pepper flakes (optional)

In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic.

In a Dutch oven, add the 1 tablespoon of the oil and cook the vegetable mixture over medium heat for 10 minutes. Spoon mixture into a very large bowl and set aside.

In the same Dutch oven over medium heat, add the rest of the oil and cook the pancetta until golden.
Add half of the ground beef and brown until crumbly, about 10 minutes.
As the meat cooks, break up any chunks with a wooden spoon into small pieces. 
Spoon into the large bowl with the cooked vegetables. 
Repeat with the rest of the beef, then spoon into the bowl with the cooked vegetables.
Repeat with the pork and veal and brown; leaving in pan.
Return the browned beef and vegetables to the pot.
Add the wine, stirring up browned bit on bottom of pan. 
Add the chicken stock, water, and tomato paste; mix in well.
Simmer very gently, partially covered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add the butter and rest of the ingredients and simmer another 15 minutes.

Besciamella (Béchamel)
6 T unsalted butter
6 T all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
1 ½ t sea salt
½ t grated nutmeg

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter until foaming; add flour and cook, whisking constantly for 2 minutes. Do not brown.
Gradually whisk in milk. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a gentle boil, while whisking constantly. Add salt and nutmeg, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and simmer 2 minutes, until it thickens slightly.
Turn off heat and set aside.

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese

1 lb fresh lasagne sheets

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spread a layer of ragù in the bottom of a lasagna pan. 
Cover with a sheet or two of pasta, a layer of besciamella, a layer of grated Parmigiano, a layer of the grated Asiago, and a layer of ragù.
Repeat 3 more times, ending with a layer of besciamella. 
Sprinkle the last of the grated cheeses over the top.

Cover loosely with parchment lined aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
Remove foil and continue to bake another 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Serves 6

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