Serves: 4

 

 

Chef’s Note:  This recipe is a combination of Bolognese sauce, Besciamella sauce, vegetables, a medley of cheeses, and lasagna noodles.  Instructions are provided for the preparation of each layer.                                                                         

 

Bolognese Sauce  

 

Ingredients:

 

2 ½ teaspoons olive oil, divided

 

¼ pound fresh mild Italian sausage (no casing)

 

¼ pound ground pork

 

½ tablespoon minced garlic

 

2 1/3 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped 

 

1/3 cup or 3 oz. tomato paste

 

1/2 cup or 3 oz tomato sauce

 

2 tablespoons beef stock

 

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

 

¼ teaspoon fennel seeds

 

¾ teaspoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano

 

Pinch salt

 

Pinch ground black pepper

 

1 tablespoon fresh flat Italian parsley, chopped

 

 

Directions:

 

Heat a stock pot over medium heat.

 

 

Add olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add ground pork.

 

 

Fry meat, breaking it into small pieces with a fork. Fry until barely done. Do not crisp.

 

 

Remove cooked pork with a slotted spoon and place in bowl. Leave any fat in the pan.

 

 

Add sausage to frying pan. Fry meat, breaking it into small pieces with a fork. Fry until barely done, Do not crisp. Place in strainer, over a separate bowl, to drain.

 

 

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan.

 

 

Add onions. Sprinkle salt over onions and saute until golden.

 

 

Add fresh basil, fennel, oregano, pepper, and parsley. Heat until fragrant.

 

 

Add cooked meat, tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, garlic, and beef broth to pot. Stir well and

bring to a simmer.

 

 

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

 

 

 

Besciamella Sauce

 

 

Ingredients:

1½ tablespoons butter

 

2 tablespoons flour

 

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

 

1 cup whole milk

 

Pinch of salt

 

 

Directions:

 

Warm milk in a small saucepan.

 

 

Melt butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat.

 

 

Sift flour slowly into saucpan and whisk for 1½ minutes (do not brown).

 

 

Add nutmeg. Whisk to incorporate.

 

 

Slowly add warm milk, whisking constantly until sauce achieves the consistency of thick cream.

 

 

 

Cheeses

 

Ingredients:

 

 

¼ pound thinly sliced mozzarella cheese

 

1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

 

½ cup grated mozzarella

 

1 cup ricotta cheese

 

1 large egg, beaten until yolk and white are a creamy yellow

 

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

 

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

 

¼ teaspoon salt

 

 

Directions:

 

Stir together ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoons beaten egg, parsley, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl.

 

 

Chill all cheeses until ready to assemble lasagna.

 

 

 

Vegetables

 

 

Ingredients:

 

 

8 thinly cut, lengthwise slices from an 8” long x 1½ ” wide zucchini

 

1/2 large red bell pepper, washed, cut in half, stem, seeds and ribs removed

 

½ cup Cavolo Nero kale or baby kale, washed and dried and chilled

 

1 cup Crimini mushroom caps, cleaned and sliced paper thin

 

½ teaspoon olive oil

 

 

Directions:

 

 

Heat a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat.

 

 

When hot, add olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add mushrooms.

 

 

Saute mushrooms until they sweat.

 

 

Use a slotted spoon to remove mushrooms from the frying pan. Reserve mushrooms in a bowl and chill. Reserve oil in the pan.

 

 

Add zucchini slices to the frying pan. Saute the slices for 2 minutes. Remove from frying pan and place flat on a plate. Cover and chill.

 

 

Bring a saucepan of cold water to a boil.

 

 

Add red pepper half. Boil for 10 minutes.

 

 

Remove red pepper from water. Discard water.

 

 

When red pepper is cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to peel the skin from the red pepper.

 

 

Slice the red pepper into thin strips, lengthwise, then dice. Place in the bowl with the mushrooms and chill until ready to use.

 

 

 

 

Noodles

 

Ingredients:

 

10 fresh or dried lasagna noodles measuring 8 1/.2  inches long

 

 

Directions:

 

 

When the sauce has simmered for 3½ hours, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.

 

 

Place dried lasagna noodles in the bottom of a pan large enough to hold the noodles without breaking and the boiling water.

 

 

Pour boiling water water directly over the noodles. If necessary, place a plate over the noodles to keep the noodles submerged.

 

 

Soak lasagna noodles for 30 minutes.

 

 

Drain carefully.

 

 

Oil a cookie sheet with a brush and olive oil and place each noodle separately on the surface. If necessary, trim each noodle to fit the baking pan.

 

 

 

Lasagna Assembly:

 

Heat oven to 375° F.

 

 

Brush the bottom and sides of a 8.5” x 8.5” x 2½ ” oven-proof casserole pan with olive oil until thoroughly coated.

 

 

Evenly spread ¾ cup of Bolognese sauce in the bottom of the oiled pan.

 

 

Place a single layer of lasagna noodles on top of the Bolognese sauce.

 

 

Spread ¾ cup of Bolognese sauce over the top of the lasagna noodles.

 

 

Drop ½ cup of the ricotta mixture by tablespoons on top of the Bolognese layer.

 

 

Place a single layer of lasagna noodles on top of the ricotta.

 

 

Place a layer of mozzarella on top of the lasagna noodles.

 

 

Spoon ¾ cup of the Bolognese sauce on top of the mozzarella and spread evenly.

 

 

Place a single layer of lasagna noodles on top of the Bolognese sauce.

 

 

Sprinkle ½ cup of Pecorino Romano evenly over the Bolognese sauce.

 

 

On top of cheese, place a layer of zucchini slices.

 

 

On top of the zucchini arrange a single layer of kale.

 

 

Scatter the mushrooms and red bell pepper over the kale.

 

 

Pour ½ cup of the Besciamella sauce over the top of the vegetables.

 

 

Place a single layer of lasagna noodles over the Besciamella sauce.

 

 

Cover the lasagna noodles with ¾ cup of Bolognese sauce. Spread evenly.

 

 

Drop ½ cup of the ricotta mixture on top of Bolognese sauce by tablespoon.

 

 

Cover the ricotta mixture with a single layer of lasagna noodles.

 

 

Top lasagna noodles with ½ cup of Besciamella sauce.

 

 

Scatter ½ cup of Parmesian over the Besciamella sauce.

 

 

Cover loosely with tin foil.

 

 

Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes or until hot.

 

 

Remove lasagna from oven and close oven door immediately.

 

 

Remove tin foil.

 

 

Scatter ½ cup grated mozarella over the top. Return to oven. Heat oven to 400° F.

 

 

When mozarella melts and starts to brown, remove lasagna from oven.

 

 

Tent lasagna with tin foil and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.

 

 

Cut with a sharp serrated knife into 4 squares.

 

 

 

Chef’s Note: This is a very delicate lasagna and the most difficult step is the plating. Use 2 spatulas, The first is a slotted turner that has a turning surface as large as an individual piece of lasagna and the second is a palette spatula. Brush olive oil on the upper side of the slotted turner and slip it under a cut piece of lasagna. Carefully lift the lasagna piece from the dish. Place the furthest edge of the spatula on the individual serving plate. Place the palette spatula on the nearest edge of the lasagna (by the handle of the slotted turner) and hold it firmly against the lasagna as the slotted turner is withdrawn and the lasagna remains on the plate. Repeat process for every serving.

 

 

Serve one square per patron.