March 27, 2009

Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna - Daring Bakers

Nothing sweet this months, but a delicious lasagne! I love lasagne, and this was the tastiest ragu I have ever cooked, so it is definetly a keeper! Actually I am not a spinach fan, therefore my favourite way to eat it is when it is hidden in a nice sheet of homemade pasta, unless it is baby spinach because that makes a faboulos salad. For me it was quite difficult to take a more or less acceptable photo of the lasagne, because as written in the recipe it was really a moist lasagne that slips when it is cut. Sure the next day it would have been easier, but then it was already all gone! The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.

Country Style Ragu’ (Ragu alla Contadina)

Preparation Time: Ingredient Preparation Time 30 minutes and Cooking time 2 hours

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (45 mL)
2 ounces/60g pancetta, finely chopped
1 medium onion, minced
1 medium stalk celery with leaves, minced
1 small carrot, minced
4 ounces/125g boneless veal shoulder or round
4 ounces/125g pork loin, trimmed of fat, or 4 ounces/125g mild Italian sausage (made without
8 ounces/250g beef skirt steak, hanging tender, or boneless chuck blade or chuck center cut (in order of preference)
1 ounce/30g thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma
2/3 cup (5 ounces/160ml) dry red wine
1 &1/2 cups (12 ounces/375ml) chicken or beef stock (homemade if possible)

2 cups (16 ounces/500ml) milk
3 canned plum tomatoes, drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Working Ahead:
The ragu can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. It also freezes well for up to 1 month. Skim the fat from the ragu’ before using it.

Browning the Ragu Base:
Heat the olive oil in a 12 inch (30cm) skillet (frying pan) over medium-high heat. Have a large saucepan handy to use once browning is complete. Add the pancetta and minced vegetables and sauté, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, 10 minutes, or until the onions barely begin to color. Coarsely grind all the meats together, including the prosciutto, in a food processor or meat grinder. Stir into the pan and slowly brown over medium heat. First the meats will give off a liquid and turn dull grey but, as the liquid evaporates, browning will
begin. Stir often, scooping under the meats with the wooden spatula. Protect the brown glaze forming on the bottom of the pan by turning the heat down. Cook 15 minutes, or until the meats are a deep brown. Turn the contents of the skillet into a strainer and shake out the fat. Turn them into the saucepan and set over medium heat.

Reducing and Simmering: Add the wine to the skillet, lowering the heat so the sauce bubbles quietly. Stir occasionally until the wine has reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Scrape up the brown glaze as the wine bubbles. Then pour the reduced wine into the saucepan and set the skillet aside.

Stir ½ cup stock into the saucepan and let it bubble slowly, 10 minutes, or until totally
evaporated. Repeat with another ½ cup stock. Stir in the last 1/2 cup stock along with the milk. Adjust heat so the liquid bubbles very slowly. Partially cover the pot, and cook 1 hour. Stir frequently to check for sticking.

Add the tomatoes, crushing them as they go into the pot. Cook uncovered, at a very slow bubble for another 45 minutes, or until the sauce resembles a thick, meaty stew. Season with salt and pepper.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Oh, your lasagne look really scrumptious and tempting! Very well done!

Cheers and have a great weekend,


Jo said...

Oh yum, your lasagna looks delicious .. sure brings back memories. Great job on your challenge.

Courtney said...

I think your lasagna looks totally great!! I agree though I didnt want to take a pic but you know what I think we all know the taste so we all drool when seeing them!

Coco Bean said...

Ha ha, I agree, waiting till it is cooled is not worth it, especially when you are hungry and there is delicious lasagna in front of you!

KJ said...

I think this is the best looking lasagne I have seen so far. I would love to sit down to that!!

TeaLady said...

That is beautiful. Lasagna is not easy to photograph, but yours looks fantastic. And wasn't it fun to make the pasta.

Angela said...

Mmmm... it looks really wonderful! Well done on a great-looking lasagne :D

Maggie said...

The lasagna looks great! Mine was really tricky to get out of the pan for a photo too.

TeaLady said...

Not easy to photograph lasagna and make it look good, but you managed it. Yours looks amazing. Great job.

And thanks for coming by for a visit.

Christine said...

Holy Schmoley this looks SO good! You were able to hand roll the pasta nice and thin too! Well done!

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