Lasagne Bolognese al Forno Print Email

2 TBS butter
Salted water
Spinach Pasta
Ragu alla Bolognese
Besciamella Sauce
Parmigiano Reggiano

Grease a ceramic casserole with butter and set aside. Boil fresh spinach pasta sheets in salted water for 10-20 seconds, until it floats. Plunge into iced water to stop cooking and layer pasta without touching on damp towels. If using dry pasta, cook according to package directions.

Arrange pasta into a single layer in prepared pan, cutting and patching to fit as needed. Carefully top with a thin layer of ragu (about 1 cup). Sprinkle with Parmigiano. Arrange another layer of pasta on top, covering with a layer of Besciamella (about 1 cup) and sprinkle with Parmigiano. Repeat until you have 3 layers of ragu and 2 layers or Besciamella. Reserve any extra meat or pasta for another use.

Roast in a 450 degree oven until hot and bubbling, about 15-20 minutes - do not overcook! Remove from oven and rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

Spinach Pasta
10 oz fresh spinach
2 large eggs
3 1/2 cups (14 oz.) flour

Rinse and stem spinach (stemming not required with baby spinach), cook in boiling salted water to wilt, remove. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out water well and chop finely.

Sift measured flour into a mound on a clean countertop and shape into a large, round well. Lightly beat eggs with a fork and add to empty well along with chopped spinach. Using a fork, slowly incorporate flour from the sides of the well into the dough.

When you can no longer mix with a fork, use your hands to mix in remaining flour until it is no longer sticky. Form into a ball, cover with a damp towel and set aside. Clean and dry table, sprinkling with more flour.

Uncover dough and knead with the heel of your hand, adding flour as needed, until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover with a damp towel and set aside.
Cut off a small piece of dough and flatten it so it will fit through the widest setting of a pasta machine. Run through rollers 3 or 4 times, dusting with flour and folding and turning as needed. Reduce thickness of rollers 1 notch at a time and roll as thin as desired. Best if made earlier in the day, refrigerate until ready to use. This can also be done with a rolling pin.

Boil pasta in well-salted water just until it floats, usually less than one minute.

5 TBS Butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbs. black peppercorns, crushed
4 whole cloves, cracked
3 large bay leaves, broken
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
4 1/2 TBS flour
4 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

Set a 4 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the butter, onion, pepper, cloves, bay, and garlic and sauté and stir 4 minutes, or until very aromatic. Blend in the flour and cook, stirring 3 minutes, or until frothy. Gradually stir in the milk until smooth and keep stirring until it boils. Lower the heat so the sauce simmers and cook, uncovered, 8 minutes or until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon and has no raw flour taste.

Pour through a fine strainer into a bowl, stirring and pressing on the ingredients to extract every bit of flavor. Stir in the cream and thyme. Use immediately or lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the top and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. - The Italian Country Table, Lynne Rosetto Kasper

Ragù alla Bolognese
2 TBS butter
3 TBS olive oil
1 celery stalk, minced
1 carrot, minced
1 onion, chopped
6 oz pancetta, diced
6 oz ground pork
6 oz ground veal
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef or chicken stock
14 oz can tomatoes, crushed
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
grated peel of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
2 TBS plus - cream

Melt butter and olive oil in a deep saucepan. Add celery, onion and carrot and saute until soft. Add pancetta and lightly brown. Add the ground meats, chopping finely until cooked. Add the wine and 1/2 cup broth and cook until the liquid has been absorbed. Add the remaining broth and reduce again. Add tomatoes, nutmeg, lemon peel, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium low heat, covered, for about 2 hours. Slowly stir in the cream to taste.