Lasagna

Okay, so this is not for the feint of heart. This is a deliciously heavy dish that takes quite a while to make. I made a version of a traditional Italian Ragù sauce and mix it with a creamy béchamel sauce. This is hands down the best combination I have ever had for lasagna.

Be prepared: It takes about 4-5 hours to make. Some prep, 3 hours for the sauce, then construction, and 35-40 minutes of baking. But let me tell you, IT IS SO WORTH IT!

Ingredients

Ragù :

* 1 lb ground beef

* 1 lb ground pork sausage or pork

* 3 yellow onions (500g)

* 2 stalks of celery (100g)

* 2 medium carrots (100g)

* 10.6 oz double concentrated tomato paste (usually 2 tubes)

* 500 mL Milk

* 4 tbsp butter (55g)

* 4 bay leaves

* 1 tsp Italian spices (or more)

* Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste


Béchamel:

* 80g butter (about 1/3rd stick)

* 80g flour (about 1/3 cup)

* 1 L of milk

* Whole Nutmeg (grate/add to taste, ~1/8 tsp ground nutmeg if you don't have whole nutmeg)

* 1/4 lb freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (the quality of this really is important!)

* salt and pepper to taste


Pasta:

*1 box of lasagna noodles of your choice. I have never used the oven ready kind and always boil mine for a bit, note the directions!


Materials:

*Dutch oven or a heavy bottomed pot for the best flavors.

* 9 x 13 glass baking dish (or dish of your choice, but note the proportions are for this size).


Directions


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


Ragù :

1) Dice the onions, celery and carrots. Try to lean to a smaller size so they are more cohesive in the sauce.

2) In a pan with a large circumference cook the beef and pork. Make sure to break up all the pieces. The goal here is to cook off all the water and brown the meat. The meat should have a nice brown color at the end. Once brown, set aside.

3) Place a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot on medium heat and add the butter (55g) and brown it.

4) Once the butter is brown add the onions, carrots and celery. Mix and cover the pot. You want to sweat the onions and also get rid of all the water in the vegetables. Once the onions and carrots look melted and sweated, you can add the meat in the pot.

5) Add the two tubes of the tomato paste and mix.

6) Slowly add in 1/2 of the milk. Mix the sauce. The meat should absorb all the milk. Add the remaining milk and mix.

7) Cover the pot, lower the heat to low, and simmer for about 1 hour. The longer you cook this the more cohesive the flavors will be.

8) Check in on the sauce every so often and mix, if it looks a bit dry add more milk!

8) When the sauce is almost done, you can start the béchamel.