And let it out to dry
I didn't take pictures of the process of making the Bechamel Sauce but you can see that (sorta) with the Croque Monsieur recipe. So here we have a huge pot of salter water boiling away for the pasta. The bechamel has been made and is being kept warm on the hob and the ragu has been reheated.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes to assemble and 40 minutes cooking time
10 quarts (9 litres) salted water
Assembling the Ingredients:
Cooking the Pasta:
Assembling the Lasagne:
Baking and Serving the Lasagne:
Preparation: 45 minutes
Makes enough for 6 to 8 first course servings or 4 to 6 main course servings, equivalent to 1 pound (450g) dried boxed pasta.
- 2 jumbo eggs (2 ounces/60g or more)
- 10 ounces (300g) fresh spinach, rinsed dry, and finely chopped; or 6 ounces (170g) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
- 3&1/2 cups (14 ounces/400g) all purpose unbleached (plain) flour (organic stone ground preferred)
Stretch and even out the center of the disc by rolling the dough a quarter of the way back on the pin. Then gently push the rolling pin away from you with one hand while holding the sheet in place on the work surface with the other hand. Repeat three more times, turning the dough a quarter turn each time.
Repeat the two processes as the disc becomes larger and thinner. The goal is a sheet of even thickness. For lasagne, the sheet should be so thin that you can clearly see your hand through it and see colours. Cut into rectangles about 4 by 8 inches (10 x 20 cm). Note: Enza says that transparency is a crucial element of lasagne pasta and the dough should be rolled as thinly as possible. She says this is why her housekeeper has such strong arms!
Dry the pasta at room temperature and store in a sealed container or bag.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces/60g) unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces/60g) all purpose unbleached (plain) flour, organic stone ground preferred
- 2&2/3 cups (approx 570ml) milk
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
- 1.5 lbs (700g) pork, or half pork and half beef (preferably organic, free-range)
- 3 large cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped1/2 teaspoon
- freshly-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 oz (120g) pancetta, finely chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 fat carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1/2 cup (125ml) whole milk
- 1 cup (250ml) dry white wine
- 3 cups (750ml) chicken stock, preferably low-sodium (if your stock is very salty dilute it with a little water before measuring)
- 1/3 cup (80ml) tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon sugar
In a large heavy pot over medium heat, heat the oil and add the pancetta, onions, carrot and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are golden and have started to caramelize, about 25-30 minutes. Raise the heat to medium high and add the meat, breaking it up thoroughly with a fork and stirring constantly until medium brown in color, about 10 minutes. Add the milk, stirring until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the wine, stock, tomato paste and bay leaf, stir well and bring to a boil.
Partially cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and allow to cook at a gentle simmer for 2-3 hours. At the end of its cooking time the ragu should be juicy and thick, but not liquidy; if after two hours it still looks too wet, uncover and raise the heat slightly. Stir in the sugar, and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Keep warm.