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Lasagna


Ragu
* 5 tablespoons olive oil
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 1 carrot, finely diced
* 1 medium onion, diced
* 1 rib celery, finely diced
* 1 clove garlic, sliced
* 2 bay leafs
* 500g veal, ground
* 500g pork, ground
* ¼ lb. pancetta or slab of bacon, chopped
* 2/3 cup tomato paste
* 1 cup milk
* 1 cup dry white wine
* Salt and black pepper
* Parmigiano, for grating
1. In a 6 to 8-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat.

 2. Add the carrots, pancetta, onions, celery, and garlic and sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent and soft but not browned (about 10-15 minutes).

 3. Add the bay leaf, veal, and pork; stir into the vegetables.

 4. On high heat, combine the wine, stir to keep the meat from sticking together until browned.

 5. Add the tomato paste and a cup of water, cook for 10 minutes, then add the milk, simmer over medium-low heat for 1-1 ½ hours.

 6. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat.

Spinach Dough

 * 4 eggs

 * 2,5 oz / 170g cooked spinach

 * 4 cups 00 flour

 1. Using a blender , blend the eggs with the spinach;

 2. Mound 4 cups of the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board;

 3. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the egg and spinach mixture;

 4. Using a fork, beat together the eggs, and begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well.

 5. As you expand the well, keep pushing the flour up from the base of the mound to retain the well shape (the dough will come together when half of the flour is incorporated);

6. Start kneading the dough, more you knead, better it gets. Add more flour is the dough sticks on your hands;

 7. Once you have a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up and discard any leftover bits;

 8. Lightly re-flour the board and continue kneading for 6 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky;

 9. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature

 10. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions and roll each out to the thinnest setting on a pasta rolling machine.

Béchamel
-1l or 4 1/4 cups milk
-1 onion, halved
-1 bayleaf
-2 cloves
-100g / 7 tablespoons butter
-100g / 11 tablespoons flour
-Salt & white pepper to taste
-1 tea spoon nutmeg
1 - Gently bring the milk to boil in a saucepan with the onion, bayleaf and the cloves. Turn off the heat and let it rest for 30 minutes;

2 - In another sauce pan, melt the butter, then add the flour. Stir until a paste forms (that's called roux), continue cooking for 2 minutes;

3 - Remove the onions, the bayleaf and the cloves out of the milk. Combine gradually the milk with the roux, stirring ad you go. Cook for another 20 minutes in low heat stirring until the sauce thickened. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg.
An ideal béchamel is a béchamel without lumps and without taste of flour. To avoid lumps stir and to avoid the taste of flour cook for minimum 20 minutes.

Directions for assembly

 1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F/190C.

 2. In a lasagna pan, assemble the lasagna, beginning with a layer of ragu, a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano, a layer of pasta, a layer of béchamel, a layer of ragu, a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano etc. until all of the sauce and pasta are used.

 3. The top layer should be pasta with béchamel mixed with ragu over it.

 4. Top the lasagna with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes, until the edges are browned, and the sauces are bubbling.

 5. Remove and allow to cool for 30 minutes before slicing.