What can be considered more Italian comfort food than a home cooked lasagna?
The dish that with pizza became one of the most recognized dish from the Italian culture.
To me, a good lasagna is the quintessential expression of comfort food to share with family and friends and enjoying it with a glass a good red wine.
This recipe is very easy and rewarding, as usual it takes time as it’s supposed to be made with patience and love!
For the spinach fresh pasta sheet:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cooked spinach
Pinch of salt
For the meat sauce:
1 lb good quality ground beef
2 carrot, 1 onion and 2 celery stalk diced for the soffritto
1 can 16oz canned tomatoes, S.Marzano ones preferably
1 cup red wine
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt&Pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg (optional)
For the béchamel:
½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup butter
4 cups milk
Salt& pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg or lemon zest (optional)
Grated Parmesan cheese
Start making the meat sauce by sautéing the soffritto (carrot, onion, celery) in the tbsp of olive oil at medium-low heat till onion translucent and vegetables tender, at least 10 minutes.
Add the ground beef and brown till fully cooked for another 10 minutes. Add the red wine and let evaporate.
Add you canned tomatoes, which I usually like to puree beforehand, and stir in together with the meat and soffritto. Bring to a simmer, add salt & pepper to taste and the nutmeg and let it cook together for 30 minutes or until it reduce considerably.
In the meantime, make the spinach dough by mixing together the ingredients till it becomes a smooth dough, let it rest for few minutes. Then, make your pasta sheet by flattening the dough a piece at the time making sheet as long as the baking pan to use.
Once the pasta sheets are ready and the meat sauce done, pre-heat the oven at 400F.
Prepare the béchamel by browning the melting the butter with the flour and then add the milk stirring all together bringing to a low simmer; add salt, pepper and nutmeg (or lemon zest). Cook, stirring, till becomes a thick sauce.
Boil the noodle sheet in salted water for 30 seconds before lairing the lasagna.
Start assembling the lasagna by pouring a spoonful of meat sauce in the bottom of the baking dish, lay sheets of pasta to cover, pour more meat sauce to cover and béchamel sauce. Keep lairing till reaching top of baking sheet or ingredients are finished, ensuring to top with a spoonful of meat sauce and sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes.