Sunday, July 28, 2019

Vincisgrassi #LasagnaDay

We make and eat lasagna frequently. I've even got my husband to help me - when I made my 4-2-5-5 Lasagna for the robotics team - and the boys were in charge of making Eight Cheese, Three Meat Lasagna for our friends' joint birthday dinner.

I've also made Seafood Lasagna, Lasagna Bianca, and Pumpkin Lasagna. So, when Christie of A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures asked us to join her for celebrate National Lasagna Day, I knew I had to try something new.

Christie wrote: "Bring it! Your best lasagna recipes for MY holiday! They called me Garfield. Just sayin." LOL. Here's what the Festive Foodies are bringing to the table:


While the boys tore up the carpet this weekend to get ready for the hardwood flooring guys tomorrow, I started doing research on regional differences in lasagna and came across an intriguing variation from the Marche. Look at my house! I swear, we've lived here for three years. You couldn't tell by looking at the rooms tonight.

But, back to the lasagna from the Marche. This version features an incredibly rich ragù that's made with lard, pancetta, pork loin, and offal. I used chicken hearts, but you can use sweetbreads, liver, etc. And, like the lasagna that I learned to make in Italy, this Vincisgrassi has meat ragù and bechamela sauces.

Ingredients makes 1 pan

Meat Ragù
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced, approximately 1 C
  • 1/2 C diced carrot
  • 1/2 C diced celery
  • 1/2 C diced pancetta
  • 1 C diced chicken hearts
  • 2 T lard
  • 1 C cubed pork loin
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork sausage
  • 2 C fresh tomato sauce
  • 1/2 C white wine
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 C fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 T fresh oregano
  • 2 T fresh basil
  • freshly ground salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 T butter
  • olive oil
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 T fresh parsley
To Assemble
  • no boil lasagna noodles
  • 3 C shredded cheese (I used a mixture of mozzarella and provolone)
  • 1 C shredded parmesan
  • 1 C fresh mozzarella balls
  • 1 C whole milk ricotta

Meat Ragù
Melt lard in a large, flat-bottom pan, add the onions, carrots, celery, diced pancetta, chicken hearts, and pork loin. Cook until the pancetta fat is mostly rendered and the onions are softened and translucent. Add in the ground meats and cook till all meats are browned through completely.

Add in the tomato sauce, wine, and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, stir in herbs, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a small pot melt the butter in a splash of olive oil. Stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the milk. Whisk constantly until thickened to a nice gravy consistency. Stir in the parsley and set aside.

To Assemble
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. To assemble the lasagna, layer meat sauce, noodles, shredded cheese blend, ricotta, mozzarella balls, and bechamela. Repeat till your pan is full though the last layer should be meat so that the noodles are completely covered.

Cover with foil. Bake in the 375 degree F oven for one hour. Remove the foil. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan. Return pan to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese melted. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Serve hot.

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