How to cook this family classic in the Italian way.
For 4 / 6 people
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30/45 minutes + 3 hours of Ragù cooking
FOR THE LASAGNE SHEETS
• 1 egg
• 100 g of 00 flour
• A pinch of salt
FOR THE RAGÙ SAUCE
• 50 g of streaky bacon
• 250 g of ground beef
• 150 g of minced pork
• ½ glass of red wine (or dry white)
• 250 g of tomato puree
• 1 ½ tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
• 1 glass of milk (about 200/250 ml)
• 1 small onion
• 1 stalk of celery
• 1 small carrot
• Extra virgin olive oil to taste
• Salt to taste
• Pepper as needed.
• Vegetable stock about 250 ml
To complete the lasagna:
• 500 g of ready-made béchamel sauce
• 200 g of grated Parmisan cheese
Best to prepare the ragù the night before given the long cooking times.
Chop the onion, celery and carrot into small pieces. Put a large, thick-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, add the finely chopped bacon and let it melt its fat. Add the chopped onion, celery and carrot and brown them in the bacon fat for a couple of minutes.
Add the mince (having combined the pork with the beef) breaking it up well with a spoon, and let it brown for a couple of minutes. When the meat is well coloured and some of the liquids it has released has evaporated (it will take about 10/15 minutes) increase the heat and blend in the wine.
When the wine has been absorbed by the meat, add the tomato puree, concentrate and milk and mix well. Lower the heat to a minimum and cook for about 3 hours, stirring often.
N.B. Halfway through cooking add salt and pepper to the ragù and if necessary, add hot vegetable stock although not too much as the ragù shouldn’t be too liquid.
How to make lasagne sheets
You can of course buy the sheets ready-made, but if you would like to make your own, here is how to do it but only start preparing them when the ragù is ready.
Sift the flour onto a wooden pastry board, make a hole in the center and add the lightly beaten egg and a pinch of salt. Using a fork, start incorporating the egg into the flour.
When all the egg has been absorbed, start working the dough with your hands for about 10 minutes or until the dough is compact and firm. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Then, divide the dough into three equal parts and on a well-floured surface, start rolling out the first sheet using a rolling pin. They shood be only a few millimeters deep and using a sharp knife, cut out squares slightly smaller than the pan you will be using.
Put a saucepan of water on your hob, add a little salt and a few drops of oil, and when it comes to the boil, dip the first sheet of pasta and cook it for just a minute. Remove it from the hot water and immediately immerse it in a bowl of cold water to stop it cooking.
Remove from the water and spread it on a clean cotton cloth to dry and repeat for each sheet.
Preparation of lasagne alla bolognese
Scoop two tablespoons of warm béchamel sauce into the pan, cover with a sheet of lasagna then another layer of béchamel, a generous layer of meat sauce, and plenty of parmesan. Continue like this until all layers are completed.
N.B. If the ragù is very dry, add two more spoons of béchamel over the ragù before the parmesan.
Cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180° for about 30/40 minutes. Test with a fork and if the lasagna is soft then it’s ready. Remove the sheet of aluminum paper, turn on the grill and to achieve a golden crunchy crust you need to brown the top of the lasagna for about 5 minutes.
Once browned, take out of the oven and let the lasagna rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. This will make all the difference!