Homemade lasagna is soo delicious. I admit it takes some time to make the pasta and sauce, but when the sauce is simmering on the fire you can already smell the Italian aromas. All in all it is worth the wait.
One of us is not a fan of béchamel sauce. Most lasagne contain béchamel sauce. Because of this I started looking for other recipes without béchamel sauce. Bechamel sauce is also called the white sauce. I found a recipe that doesn’t end with a white layer of béchamel sauce, but has a cheese layer halfway through. Once we tried this recipe, we didn’t want anything else. This appears to be a Sicilian variant.
Ingredients (6-8 persons)
- 300 gr. flower (Italian 00)
- 3 eggs (medium size)
- 125 gr. pancetta
- 100 gr. prosciutto
- 250 gr. ground beef
- 250 gr. minced veal
- 2-3 winter carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 onion
- 2 bay leaves
- 100 ml. white wine
- 700 gr. tomatoes (skinned)
- 1 can of peeled tomatoes
- 5 leaves of chopped basil
- splash of milk
- pepper / salt if necessary stock cube
- 1 cup of ricotta
- 1 mozzarella bun
- 100 gr. Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- Olive oil
Prepare bolognese sauce
Clean the carrot and celery and cut into small pieces. Cut the pancetta and prosciutto into small pieces. Peel and finely chop the onion. Cut the skinned tomatoes into cubes.
Heat a large pan over medium heat and fry the pancetta and prosciutto. Keep stirring so that it doesn’t burn. Add a little olive oil if necessary.
Add the celery, carrot and onion and fry briefly until the onion becomes translucent.
Once added, chill the ground beef and minced veal until browned. Add some pepper and salt and possibly the stock cube.
Add the white wine and let it reduce until the moisture has evaporated considerably. Tear or cut the basil. Finally: add the diced tomatoes, the bay leaf, the basil and the canned tomato. Bring to a boil.
Stir regularly so that the sauce does not burn. Once the sauce is boiling, reduce the gas and just let the sauce boil. The sauce should stay at the boiling point. The sauce should simmer for at least 3-4 hours. Stir regularly to prevent burning and to check that there is still enough moisture in the sauce.
Prepare pasta dough
Mix the beaten eggs with the dough and knead this dough for at least 10 minutes. Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Prepare cheese sauce
Tear the mozzarella into small pieces, add the ricotta and add grated Parmesan cheese.
Stir the cheeses together and add an egg. Stir the egg into the cheeses and add salt and pepper. Cut parsley, add it and stir it through the mixture.
Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Grease a large baking dish with olive oil. Check that the sauce is not too thin. If there is still too much moisture in the sauce (for example because the lid has been closed all the time) turn up the heat and let the moisture reduce. You can also use potato starch to slightly bind the sauce. Usually this is not necessary. Remove the bay leaves from the sauce. Pour a splash of milk into the sauce and let it thicken a little longer.
Remove the pasta dough from the refrigerator. Knead the dough by hand. Sprinkle the worktop with some flour. Remove an egg-sized piece of dough from the ball and knead it.
Flatten the dough and run it through the pasta machine. Make sure the pasta machine is on its widest position.
Fold the dough in half and pass it again through the widest position of the pasta machine. Repeat this 5-8 times, until the dough is rectangular in shape.
Reduce the width of the machine 1 size and run the dough through the machine. Reduce again and repeat till the dough has the desired thickness. For lasagne I go to position 8 (narrowest position).
Make as many sheets as needed. Measure the length of the baking dish and cut the slices into the desired length. I usually make 8-10 sheets myself. 2 per layer.
Spoon some bolognese sauce into the baking dish and spread it over the bottom. Place the pasta sheets on top. Spoon bolognese sauce over the pasta sheets again and repeat this again, so that you have 2 layers of pasta dough with bolognese sauce.
Place pasta sheets over the bolognese sauce and spread the cheese mixture over the pasta sheets. Make sure the cheese layer is about the same thickness as the Bolognese sauce.
Place pasta sheets on top and finish with bolognese sauce. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top of the Bolognese sauce and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. It should be mainly Parmesan cheese that you see. The breadcrumbs soak up the excess fat.
Place the dish in the oven and bake the lasagna for 35-40 minutes.
Remove the lasagne from the oven and let it cool slightly.
Cut the lasagne into slices and serve one slice on a plate. Serve a Sangiovese with, for example, from Chianti to keep it completely Italian.