Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lasagne Bolognese

It has been a while since I have put a romantic tip on here, so I thought it was time for one. I think it is important to stay connected to your love during the day. Even though we all work and have responsibilities outside of our relationships. It is still good to make your presence known through the day. Many single guys consider work a safe haven from the minefield of dating and don't want that sacred space violated. In marriage and committed relationships , though, it's different: News from the home front serves as a nice reminder of what you're working for. 

Romantic tip:  Call your love while at work, or send a mushy email letting them know how much you love them and how much of a turn on it is that they are hard working. Let them know you are excited to be together after work where you can share with each other the events of the day.

Now on to the food. 
I love a good lasagna. I also love a good bolognese. Usually bolognese is served with spaghetti. But why not a lasagna? I made this for my man and he went crazy over it. This is time consuming, and I would recommend breaking the process up into two days. Day one make the bolognese. Day two the noodles and bechamel and assemble and bake. 

This recipe serves 4 because pasta is magnificent leftover. My husband loves to take it to work the next day for lunch and make his office pals jealous with the smells of Italian food.

Lasagne Bolognese from scratch
adapted from Bon Appétit | October 2013

Bolognese sauce:
1/2 large onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 medium carrot, peeled, coarsely chopped
1/2 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound ground beef chuck
1/2 pound ground pork
2 ounces pancetta (Italian bacon), finely chopped
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup whole milk
1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups  chicken broth, divided

Fresh pasta dough:
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more
2 large eggs, room temperature

2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, warmed
Kosher salt

For Assembly:
1 cup finely grated Parmesan

Make the Bolognese sauce
Pulse onion, carrot, and celery in a food processor until finely chopped.
Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add ground beef, ground pork, pancetta, and vegetables; cook, 
breaking up ground meat with a spoon, until moisture is almost completely evaporated and meat is well browned, 25–30 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Add wine to pot and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, about 2 minutes. Add milk; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until moisture is almost completely evaporated, 8–10 minutes. Add tomatoes and broth; 
bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, until flavors meld and sauce thickens, 2 1/2–3 hours.

Let sauce cool, then cover and chill at least 12 hours or up to 2 days. (Letting the sauce sit will give it a deeper, richer flavor.)

Make the fresh pasta dough:
Whisk salt and flour in a large bowl, make a well in the center, and crack eggs into well. 
Mix eggs with a fork, then slowly mix in flour until a shaggy dough forms. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting lightly with flour if sticky, until smooth, about 5 minutes (it will be fairly stiff). Wrap in plastic; let sit until dough holds an indentation when pressed. One hour.
Chill dough if you are not rolling it out right away. Bring to room temperature before rolling out.

Set pasta maker to thickest setting; dust lightly with flour. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time and keeping remaining dough wrapped in plastic as you work, flatten dough into a narrow rectangle (no wider than mouth of machine); pass through rollers . 
Fold dough as needed to fit and run through again. Repeat without folding, adjusting machine to thinner settings after every pass and dusting with flour if sticky, until pasta sheet is 1/16" thick (setting 8 on most machines). Place pasta sheets on a lightly floured surface and cut crosswise into 8 8"-long noodles.
If making noodles ahead, stack on a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper between each layer. Cover with plastic wrap; chill.

Make the béchamel:
Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in warm milk, 1/2-cupful at a time. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, whisking often, until the consistency of cream, 8–10 minutes; add nutmeg and season with salt. Remove from heat, transfer to a medium bowl, and press plastic wrap directly onto surface; let cool slightly. 
Cook the noodles
Working in batches, cook fresh lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until just softened, about 10 seconds. 
Remove carefully with tongs and transfer to a large bowl of ice water; let cool. Drain noodles and stack on a baking sheet, with paper towels between each layer, making sure noodles don't touch (they'll stick together).

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 13x9" baking dish with butter.
Assemble the lasagna:

Spread 1/4 cup béchamel in the prepared baking dish. Top with a layer of noodles, spread over a scant 3/4 cup Bolognese sauce, then 1/2 cup béchamel, and top with 1/4 cup Parmesan. 
Repeat process 7 more times, starting with noodles and ending with Parmesan, for a total of 8 layers.
 Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake lasagna until bubbling and beginning to brown on top, 50–60 minutes. Let lasagna sit 45 minutes before serving.
Serve warm.

1 comment:

  1. I would certainly be a happier man with a serving of that in my belly. 2DIE4!


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