Recipe by Chef Jacquie
1 Lasagna Pan
4 Sheets of spinach pasta
2 Large fresh mozzarella – diced small, not grated; and, drained
1 Pound whole Ricotta cheese, drained
½ Pound fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
–Béchamel Sauce Ingredients
4 Tablespoons of butter
4 Tablespoons of flour
1 Cup of whole milk
1 Teaspoon of salt
¼ Teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
1/8 Teaspoon of fresh grated nutmeg
–Ragu Bolognese Ingredients
1 Pound of ground beef
1 Large carrots, peeled and minced
3 Stalks of celery, minced
1 Medium onion, minced
1 Large can tomato puree and 1 large can of water
1 Cup of whole milk
1 Stick of butter
Salt and Pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon of fresh ground nutmeg
Add cheese in colander lined with cheesecloth or a few paper towels.
Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for a few hours, to drain.
In a small pot, over medium heat, add butter and flour, stirring constantly until incorporated. I use a silicone whisk instead of metal on metal, which can turn the sauce green.
Slowly add milk and bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook until thick.
Taste and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Place in bowl and set on top of a saucepot with hot water, to keep warm until needed. If needed, add a little milk to thin out.
–Make Bolognese Ragu
In a large pot, over medium heat, sauté ground meat until brown and liquid has evaporated.
Add veggies and sauté until the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally.
Add tomato puree, water, milk, butter and nutmeg and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, stir occasionally, and simmer for 2-3 hours. HINT: When oil rises to the top, the Ragu is done.
HINT: When using fresh pasta, make sure it is covered with sauce, so it stays moist.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread the bottom of a lasagna pan with Ragu, then place a sheet of fresh pasta on top.
Cover pasta sheet with Bolognese Ragu and then drop ricotta by teaspoonfuls; 4 heaps of ricotta cheese across and 6 down.
Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, drizzle with béchamel sauce and then sprinkle fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Repeat layer after layer until you reach the top.
Place the top layer of fresh pasta and spread Ragu Bolognese sauce and mozzarella and then sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Wrap with aluminum foil and place in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes.
Remove foil, raise heat to 400 and cook lasagna an additional 15-20 minutes.
Remove lasagna from oven and let it set for about 15-20 minutes before cutting.