Prep 35 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
Even though my roots are from Western Europe, I feel my blood is full of Italian.....can't get enough! If you want to wow them, put the extra time into this recipe. Make ahead and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. First is a Sugo di carne (tomato sauce), then a Balsamella sauce (Italian white sauce). Update 4/2010: Due to 2 comments I'm suggesting you use 3-4 T flour to thicken sauce but not too thick that it won't pour easily on top, if too thick, add a little milk a tablespoons at a time. Hope this helps!
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup onion, finely diced
- 1⁄3 cup carrot, finely diced
- 1⁄4 cup celery, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, diced (more if you like garlic)
- 1⁄4 cup dry white wine
- 2 1⁄2 cups tomatoes, pureed in a blender
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons milk or 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 -4 tablespoons flour
- 2 1⁄4 cups milk
- 7 ounces parmigiano-reggiano cheese, freshly grated (divided)
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- TOMATO SAUCE.
- Place oil and butter in a saucepan, and turn the heat to medium.
- When the butter starts foaming, add the diced onion, carrot, celery, and garlic.
- Sauté and stir until the onion is soft and translucent.
- This is the time to add the ground meat if using.
- Stir with a wooden spoon, and break the meat into small bits. Cook until the meat is fully browned.
- Add the wine, salt and pepper (to taste). Turn the heat to high, and let the wine evaporate. (Posting of 1/4 cup wine would not register correctly when entering recipe).
- Add the tomato, nutmeg, and milk (milk helps cut down on acidity). When the sauce starts boiling, turn the heat to low.
- Cover the saucepan and simmer slowly for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- WHITE SAUCE.
- Place butter in a saucepan and turn the heat to low. When the butter is melted, remove the saucepan from the stove.
- Add the flour, stirring continuously until golden.
- Add the milk a little at a time. Put the saucepan back on the stove and slowly stir with a wooden spoon, until the sauce starts boiling and becomes thicker.
- Turn heat off. Add salt to taste, and stir in the 1 oz. grated parmigiano cheese and pinch of nutmeg.
- Begin cooking lasagna pasta in salted water as directed on package. Prepare al dente. To stop the cooking process, run cold water over drained pasta.
- While pasta is cooking, begin.
- PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease heavily a large 13x9 baking dish.
- Spread 2-3 Tbs. of tomato sauce over the bottom of the baking dish.
- Place one layer of pasta over sauce in dish.
- Spread with tomato sauce but not so thick you can't see pasta showing thru.
- Spread with Balsamella white sauce. Try to pour as evenly as possible but don't blend. Not all tomato sauce should be covered.
- Top with 2 ozs grated parmigiano reggiano cheese.
- Repeat two times.
- Top layer will be a beautiful marble of white sauce over the tomato sauce.
- Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes. Doneness is when you fork the lasagna, it will pull out easily from the pasta.
- Serve hot.
Perhaps the white sauce didn't thicken because chef wrote step 11 twice but must have meant to add flour instead at step 12! Eh, chef/.
This is a wonderful recipe!! I made it with a friend (who is fantastically Italian) who called her Grandmother a few times for some help (We couldn't get the white sauce to thicken at first). This was the BEST lasagna I have ever had, EVER. Well worth the effort and time. I will be making this again, and again.