Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lasagne Al Forno

Extremely long post warning!  This is the lasagne al forno recipe from my mother-in-law as taught to me by my husband.  (I have made a twist on the ragu, but it is basically the same.)  Italians do not use ricotta in their can't get around this, don't try and argue or justify they don't.  Instead a bechamel sauce is used.  This makes the lasagne creamy and out of this world good.  This was one of the first Italian dishes my husband taught me to cook for him and it is the dish we generally make for each other when one is returning home from a long international trip, as this is comfort food and makes you feel welcome. It can take a while to make, but all the effort pays off, trust me you will never want to make lasagne the "American" way again.

Beginnings of the ragu, carrots, onions and celery, let this cook down and begin bechamel

Bechamel is also similar to a roux, it consists of butter and flour like a roux but you eventually add milk

Hence the roux consistency before you add the milk

Looks lumpy but keep whisking it will smooth out

Last step add nutmeg, white pepper and salt

Back to the ragu, I add a soffrtito boullion for extra flavor, see what soffritto is here:

I use fake meat, but for you carnivores add your ground meat here instead

I use two cans of what I have, tomato sauce with whole tomatoes....whatever combo is good just break up large chunks

For your long simmer add some bay leaves

After the ragu and bechamel are finished now the fun begins, layering your lasagne al forno

First layer is lasagne pasta, then ragu then bechamel and then a layer of parmigiano

Before baking about 5 layers

After baking, creamy goodness!

Lasagne al forno (which means lasagne in the oven or baked)

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