That unmistakable scent that smells of home, of family, of celebration. Lasagne Bolognese is not just a tasty and delicious recipe: it is an institution of Italian cuisine and all over the world it represents the warmth of a Sunday lunch, the pleasure of being together, preparing and savouring a dish that never disappoints.
The traditional Emilian version, proposed by Andrea, is the one with fresh pasta, meat sauce, béchamel sauce and cheese, which alternate in a deliberately imperfect layering game (why else would lasagne also be known as ‘pasticcio’?), but there are vegetarian, white and fish versions, with which you can indulge, using seasonal ingredients and lots of imagination.
A healthy and delicious recipe that recounts the everyday life of Italian cuisine, the authenticity of products and flavours, the uniqueness of a simple and appetising cuisine.
Let’s start with the meat sauce: its preparation is crucial for perfect lasagne bolognese. Finely chop the carrots, onions and celery and tie rosemary, sage and the bay leaf with kitchen string, forming a bouquet garni.
Pour a little oil into a saucepan, brown the chopped vegetables for a few minutes and add the minced meat. Stir, turn up the heat and let the meat brown unhurriedly until well done.
At this point, pour in the prosecco, let it evaporate and add the tomato puree, two glasses of water, the bouquet garni, salt and pepper. Stir and let the meat sauce cook for 2-3 hours on a low heat, with a lid, adding more water if necessary: only towards the end of cooking you can remove the lid, add half a glass of milk and let the preparation dry out, if necessary.
Now it is the turn of the pasta. Pour the semolina, ’00’ flour, eggs and turmeric into a bowl and mix well until a homogeneous dough is obtained.
Put the dough in a container with a lid and let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Meanwhile grate all the cheese.
As soon as 30 minutes have elapsed, take the dough ball and take a piece of it. With the help of some semolina, flatten it slightly on the pastry board to form a rectangle and roll it out in the machine.
Start with a greater thickness and then gradually reduce it until you get the finest sheet of pasta you can with the sheeter. If you feel it is too wet, sprinkle with a little semolina, transfer it to a pastry board and cut rectangles as long as the baking tin in which you are going to make the lasagna. Continue in this way until the dough is finished.
Once the sheets are prepared, put a pot filled with salted water on the stove and prepare a bowl with cold salted water on the side.
When the water starts boiling, immerse two sheets at a time, wait 10 seconds and, using a skimmer, drain them directly into the bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. While they are still in the water, make sure they don’t stick by stretching them with your hands so they don’t wrinkle. Drain the sheets by hand and transfer them back onto a cutting board (you can blot them with a tea towel to dry them a little).
Continue like this, placing the cooked sheets side by side without overlapping them. As soon as the meat sauce is ready, season with salt and pepper and proceed to compose the lasagne.
To prepare the béchamel sauce, pour the butter into a saucepan and let it melt, add the flour all at once and cook for a few minutes until a golden roux is obtained.
Heat the milk in a high saucepan and when it starts to boil, pour in the roux and stir with a whisk vigorously until it is completely blended. Add salt, season with nutmeg and boil for a few minutes. Keep the béchamel sauce hot, over a very low flame, stirring occasionally.
Take a lasagne baking tray and add a thin layer of béchamel sauce. Place the first sheets without overlapping them and, covering the top up to the edges (cut the sheets if necessary), add a layer of béchamel sauce, without exaggerating, a thin layer of meat sauce and a sprinkling of Grana Padano cheese. Place another sheet of pastry on top and continue with the layers until the pastry is finished. As a last layer, place the pasta with the béchamel sauce (in this case, cover entirely with a thin layer, taking care not to leave any flaps of pasta uncovered) and plenty of Grana Padano cheese.
Bake the lasagne in a static oven at 180 degrees for about 30-45 minutes or until the surface is golden brown. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.