Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lito’s Lasagna Al Forno

Love your lasagna with lots of meat? This recipe, made with ground beef and pancetta (Italian bacon), will hit the spot.


·         1 lb. ground beef round
·         1 tbsp. olive oil
·         1/4 cup all-purpose flour
·         1 large onion, chopped
·         2 1/4 cups whole milk
·         2 celery ribs, chopped
·         3/4 cup ricotta
·         1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
·         freshly ground black pepper
·         2 oz. pancetta, diced
·         1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
·         8 oz. (12 sheets) no-boil lasagna
·         1 14.5 oz. (411 g) can chopped tomatoes with their juices
·         1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
·         1 tsp. dried oregano
·         1/3 cup hearty red wine
·         4 tbsp. butter


1.       To make the ragu sauce, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and pancetta and cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the beef and cook, breaking up with a spoon, about 10 minutes, until browned.

2.       Add the tomatoes with their juices, the wine, and the oregano. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for at least 40 minutes and up to 2 1/2 hours.

3.       Meanwhile, make the white sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, whisk in the flour, and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk. Cook, whisking often, until the sauce boils. Stir in the ricotta cheese and season with salt and pepper and nutmeg. Remove from heat.

4.       Preheat the oven to 375F. Oil a large rectangular (9 x 13 in) baking dish and spread 1/4 cup of the white sauce on the bottom. Arrange 3 lasagna sheets in the dish and top with one third of the ragu and 1/2 cup of the white sauce. Repeat layers twice more. Top with 3 lasagna sheets, the remaining white sauce, and the Parmesan cheese.

5.       Bake for 45 minutes, until the top is golden and bubbling. Let stand 10 minutes, then serve hot.

Happy Cooking
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