When I was a boy we use to go to my dearly departed Aunt Carols house for the holidays. My cultural heritage is Italian and around the holidays this means a huge spread of food on the table for the holidays. Family, food, and friendship, this is what the holidays mean for an Italian family.
One of my favorite dishes at these family gatherings was always Lasagna alla Bolognese, and to me for these reasons this is the ultimate comfort food. I have worked for years trying to develop a perfect lasagna and the following recipe is the results.
Lasagna Alla Bolognese By David Green
5 cloves garlic
1 red pepper
200 grams mushrooms (Note: Lasagna made in Pics has no mushrooms I omitted it for my Boys)
400 grams canned chopped tomatoes
1 large fresh tomato
1 can tomato puree
3 puree cans full of water
2 tbsp olive oil
500 grams ground beef
Pinch of sea salt
Pepper to taste
3 tsp oregano
3 tsp basil
1.5 tsp Marjoram
3 bay leaf
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk (You can substitute light milk for the cream and whole
milk but why)
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg
10 to 15 Lasagna plates
Mozzarella 1 ball fresh and 200 grams grated
Parmesan 125 grams whole so you can control the grate
Chop the onions garlic and pepper.
Saute lightly to release the flavors. Add the ground beef and brown, if the ground beef has too much water make sure to drain it, you want it to brown not boil. Some people cook the beef separately but I think it has better flavor when cooked with the vegetables. Add the canned tomatoes and the tomato puree and the fresh tomato. Next add the spices and allow to simmer for 30 minutes and turn the heat off to cool slightly.
Make a roux with the butter and flour and add the salt pepper and nutmeg add the cream and milk and slowly bring it to a simmer until it is lightly thickened then add the Parmesan and Mozzarella.
Allow to thicken Be sure to taste it the sauce may need a little more salt pepper or nutmeg but be sure add too much or it will overwhelm the flavor, the white sauce is just one component of the dish.Allow to cool slightly before using but not entirely or it will thicken to much
(Alternate method: You can use ricotta cheese as much or as little as you like. Add one egg yolk, 2 tbsp of Parmesan, and 1 tsp of oregano to the ricotta and spread on top of noodles before you add sauce and the cheese)
In the bottom of the casserole put a thin layer of the sauce.
Now put on the first layer of pasta.
After that you should put on enough sauce to completely cover the noodles then add the white sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese.
Repeat this step for the next layer using the last of the shredded mozzarella. For the last layer do the same thing but use the fresh mozzarella.
Now you will want to cover it in foil and place into a preheated 200 c oven and bake covered for 35 minutes, remove the foil and cook an additional 10 minutes.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving this will help the lasagna to stay together when you slice and serve it. There are a lot of steps in making this Lasagna some of which you may prepare in advance, You can also make the Lasagna ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator before cooking. You can also freeze it for when guest come over and you will look like a hero in the kitchen. Enjoy