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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lasagna with Bolognese Sauce

Lasagna with Bolognese Sauce (sort of)

Lasagna is a fairly simple dish. I have only made it a handful of times in my life. This is due to the fact that it is time-consuming to prepare and it isn't exactly my favorite dish in the world. I am only making it today because I had lasagna the other day at someone´s house that they bought pre-made from the supermarket and I told them that American lasagna is a lot different and better. The lasagna here comes with bĂ©chamel sauce which I have never seen in American lasagna. I use a simple meat and tomato sauce, ricotta and mozzarella cheese, and a bit of Parmesan. The pasta noodles here are also different than those you get in the States. The ones here are smaller than a paperback book and thinner that the first 25 pages.

Here's what I use:

2 cans whole tomatoes
1 can tomato puree
1 can tomato paste (tomato paste here isn't as concentrated)
3 onions (chopped roughly)
4 cloves garlic (diced or crushed)
2 pounds ground beef and pork mix
1 glass red wine
Salt, pepper, 3 bay leaves, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes

Fresh mozzarella cheese
ricotta cheese (I use queso fresco here in Spain)

Lasagna noodles.

Sauté the onions in olive oil. Add garlic when onions have turned color. When garlic has cooked a bit I de-glaze the pan with the cup of red wine and add the canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, and paste.

Brown the meat separately I a pan with more cooked onion. Pour of the fat and pour in a bit more red wine. Add this to the tomato sauce after the sauce has cooked for at least an hour. Let this cook together for another 45 minutes or so.

Cook the noodles a few at a time in boiling water with olive oil and salt. Just allow them to loosen up a bit; they don´t need to cook too thoroughly. Place a layer of the noodles in a baking dish. Add a layer of meat sauce and a layer of cheese. Repeat this and top the pan with another layer of noodles. Bake this at °170c for about 1 hour. The cheese should be bubbling.

As I said, it´s an easy dish and every time that I have made it I was pleased with the result. I would rather just make something with another type of pasta, like zitti or rigatoni using the same ingredients and technique, more of less.

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