Recipes

Meat Lasagna

  • Servings: 30
  • Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult
  • Time:
  • Provided by:

    Ingredients Print Recipe

  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 1-1/2 cups diced celery
  • 3/4 cup diced carrot
  • 2 pounds short rib or shoulder beef, cut into small dice
  • 3/4 pound pork shoulder, but into small dice
  • 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2-1/2 cups red wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 28 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 3 14.5 oz. cans finely diced tomatoes (with its juice)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour ("00" flour if you can find it in an Italian store makes the finest fresh pasta)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 pounds ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 12 oz. Grated mozzarella
  • 4 oz. Grated parmesan cheese

Directions

MEAT SAUCE

1. In a large pot, sauté onions, celery, and carrot in 2 Tablespoons over moderately high heat until lightly browned and soft (about 5 minutes). Remove cooked vegetables from the pot and reserve.

2. Return the pot to high heat along with remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Add chopped meat. Cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the meat starts to lightly brown.

3. Add cooked vegetables to the pot.

4. Add milk, and boil until the milk has almost completely evaporated.

5. Add red wine and boil until it has almost completely evaporated.

6. Add nutmeg, bay leaf, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (and juice), salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cook for about 2 hours until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Stir periodically to be sure that the sauce does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

7. Reserve until needed. The sauce can be prepared a day ahead of time and refrigerated until needed.

FRESH PASTA

1. Combine flour and eggs in a heavy duty mixer with a dough hook. You will not be able to mix the dough completely in the mixer. (The dough can also be made entirely by hand by simply putting the eggs and flour in a bowl and combining by hand instead of with the mixer.) Once the dough starts to come together, place it on a table and knead it for several more minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a 6-8 inch cylinder. Let rest 5-10 minutes before proceeding.

2. Cut the dough into 3 pieces. Take each piece of dough, spread it out by hand a bit, flour it, and roll it through the pasta machine on the thickest setting. Take the dough, fold in thirds and put it through the machine again. Repeat this one more time. After this, you should have a rectangular piece of dough that is smooth and ready to be worked.

3. Start putting the dough through progressively thinner settings until the next to finest setting on the pasta maker. It may be necessary to cut the pasta in half to make smaller pieces if it is getting too long to put through the pasta maker.

4. Once it is rolled out, cut the sheets into 8 inch segments.

5. Cook the pasta by dropping the several sheets of pasta at a time into a large pot of boiling salted water. Stir carefully to be sure that the pasta does not stick together.

6. Remove after only several minutes of cooking as the pasta will cook quickly. Place immediately into a bowl of ice water.

7. Once cold, remove from the water and dry between 2 kitchen towels.

TO ASSEMBLE THE LASAGNA

1. In a 10 x 13 baking dish, spread ¼ of the meat sauce on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with half of the parmesan. Cover with a layer of fresh pasta.

2. Spread half of the ricotta mixture and top with 1/3 of the mozzarella. Cover with a layer of fresh pasta.

3. Spread ½ of the total amount of meat sauce on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with half of the parmesan. Cover with a layer of fresh pasta.

4. Spread remaining half of the ricotta mixture and top with 1/3 of the mozzarella. Cover with a layer of fresh pasta.

5. Spread remainder of the meat sauce (about ¼ the total amount) on top of the pasta. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.

6. Bake in a 350°F for about 1 hour or until it is browned and hot and bubbly.

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