#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup – #10 September 2018 – Favourite Italian Recipe
Lasagne…that classic family favorite, which originated from the Greeks, is a traditional Italian celebratory meal.
This delicious comfort food, typically made with egg pasta and Bolognese sauce is distinctive to the region of Emilia-Romagna, Italy.
There are so many different variations of lasagne, and in each region, families pass down their own traditional methods and secrets to this delectable dish. Our Sicilian tradition requires peas and raw egg in between the layers of fresh egg pasta and rich meat sauce. (You can always use dried lasagne sheets and cook to packet instructions)
The result….it will always leave you coming back for more!
So, here’s my family favorite Italian recipe for lasagne…
Fresh Egg Pasta
You will need a pasta making machine to make the pasta
375 g (2 ½ cups) plain flour
½ tsp salt
4 eggs, at room temperature
Plain flour, extra
On a clean work surface sift the flour and salt together. Use your hands and to shape the flour into a circular mound. Make a well in the center. Crack eggs in a separate bowl and use a fork to whisk lightly. Using the fork or your fingertips add the egg mixture a little at a time, into the center of the flour. Gradually incorporate the flour being extra careful the egg does not run out of the wall of flour. Bring the dough together and flour as necessary as you knead the dough for 6-7 minutes continuously. By kneading you will develop the gluten, giving the pasta a firmer and tender consistency. Divide the dough into four equal sections and wrap in plastic wrap. Keep the dough aside to rest for 10 minutes, making it easier to roll out. Attach your pasta machine to the side of a workbench and fit to the widest setting. Dust the rollers and workbench area with flour. Unwrap a portion of the dough and use your hand to flatten out into a rectangle shape. Roll the dough through the machine. Dust again and fold the dough in half and repeat this process 5 times until smooth. Reduce the width setting by one, and roll through the dough, each time reducing your setting until the dough is 1- 1.5mm thick. Be careful it is not too thin, as it can get stuck in the rollers and tear. Spread the sheets over clean tea towels. Be careful not to overlap sheets or they will stick. If they are overdried, they will crack. Cut into 14x25cm rectangles for lasagne or alternatively, if making fettuccine, fix attachment to the machine to cut the pasta. Feed one sheet at a time into the machine to cut. Lay out pasta on towels and cook fettuccine or lasagne sheets, straight away in salted, boiling water, for a few minutes until cooked.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large bay leaf
300g minced beef
300g minced pork
400g tin chopped tomatoes
500ml tomato passata/sauce
4 tbsp tomato paste
10 or so sheets of fresh egg pasta (see recipe above) or dried egg lasagne sheets
Mozzarella cheese, grated for sprinkling in between layers
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup peas, (fresh or frozen)
80-100g Parmesan cheese, grated
60 g butter
40g plain flour
500ml milk warmed in a separate milk pan on the stove
20g Parmesan cheese, grated
If using fresh pasta, make the pasta sheets first.
To make the Bolognese sauce, heat the oil in a large pan and add onion, carrot and celery and sweat for a few minutes. Add garlic and then both meat and brown all over. Season with salt and pepper and then add the tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato passata, basil leaves, and bay leaf. Reduce heat and simmer gently covered for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
Preheat oven to 200˚C/Gas 6.
To make the white sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon to create a roux (a thick paste made from fat and flour). Add the warm milk gradually stirring consistently until the mixture begins to thicken to a creamy consistency. Remove from heat and add the parmesan cheese.
Coat the base of a rectangular 22x26cm rectangular dish with a little of the Bolognese sauce. Arrange the lasagne sheets over the top, followed by more Bolognese sauce, a sprinkle of peas, a drizzle of beaten egg, some grated mozzarella cheese, a bit of white sauce and some grated parmesan cheese. Continue to make more of these layers until you have finished all the ingredients, ending with the white sauce and grated parmesan cheese.
Cook in the oven for about 35-40 mins until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes before serving.
Pin for Later: