Wednesday, March 7, 2007

My Ultimate Lasagna


1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
1 large can stewed tomatoes (preferable San Marzano)
1 Tbs. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Stir together to blend. Set aside

2 strips applewood smoked bacon
1 1/2 large sweet onions, sliced into rings
1 c assorted mushrooms, coarsely chopped
Sherry to deglaze

4 links of hot Italian sausage
3 Tbs. dried Italian seasoning

Cook the bacon on medium heat until it renders enough fat to cook the onions. Add onions and sauté until completely soft. Add mushrooms and sauté until both are caramelized. Deglaze the pan with sherry, scraping up all the bits on the bottom. Set aside.

Squeeze the sausage out of the casings and into the same pan that the onions were cooked in. Discard casings, and cook sausage over medium-high heat, breaking up meat as you go.

3 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 Tbs. flour
3 c milk
1 c minced fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, thyme, sage)
3/4 c parmesan
1 Tbs. white truffle oil

Melt butter, then whisk in flour. Allow roux to cook for one minute before adding milk, whisking as it comes to a boil. When it boils, take it off the heat, add herbs, cheese and parmesan. Set aside.

Lasagna Assembly
Sauce (above)
2 Packages fresh lasagna noodles
2 1/2 c shredded part-skim mozzarella
1/4 c parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 15 1/2 by 11 1/2 by 4-inch roasting pan. Spread enough of the sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Layer lasagna noodles (uncooked is fine as long as they’re fresh) on top, then about 1/2 c of mozzarella, 1/3 of the filling, and 1/3 of the béchamel. Repeat 3 times, then top with last layer of noodles and sauce. Finish with remaining mozzarella & parmesan cheese. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until bubbling.

My two cents:
Whenever I make lasagna, I make LOTS, because it disappears so fast. It’s everyone’s favorite. I first used the béchamel because I was out of ricotta, and I will never go back.

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