Photo by Flickr user Katrin Morenz (diekatrin)

Ingredients:

  • Bolognese:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 stalks celery, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and minced
  • 1 medium red onion, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/3 pound pancetta, minced
  • 1 1/3 cups tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups red wine, preferably a dry red table wine
  • 2 2/3 cups canned tomatoes
  • 2 cups meat stock
  • Spinach Pasta:

  • 1/2 pound fresh spinach, cleaned and stems trimmed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Béchamel:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

This recipe contains: Dairy, Eggs, Meat, Wheat

Recipe notes: While the classic Italian recipe for Bolognese includes veal, beef, and pork, chef Canora uses only beef and pork because he feels that the delicate flavor of veal is overwhelmed by the other components. Chef Canora recommends a doppio concentrato (double concentrate) of San Marzano tomato paste for this recipe. Lactic acid from the milk tenderizes the meat. If you don’t have a pasta machine, you can also roll the pasta out with a rolling pin until it is 1/8-inch thick.

RECIPE

Lasagna Verdi

Marco Canora

Hearth and Terroir, NYC

Marco Canora layers fresh spinach pasta with creamy béchamel and a long-simmered bolognese in this rich lasagna.

Yield: 6 servings

Method:

Heat butter and olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted, about 3 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, onion, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften and begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic, beef, and pancetta. Cook, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until the meat is thoroughly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Lower heat to medium-low, add tomato paste, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the milk and simmer, stirring frequently, to avoid browning on the bottom of the pan. Continue simmering until the milk reduces and is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until the liquid is evaporated and the pan is once again almost dry, about 30 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stock, turn the heat to low so the sauce gently simmers, and cook until the liquid is mostly evaporated and sauce is thickened, about 3 hours.

To make the spinach pasta, cook spinach in boiling salted water until it turns vibrant green, about 3 minutes. Drain in a colander, and run cold water over it. Drain again, squeeze spinach as dry as possible, and chop.

Combine eggs, flour, and spinach in a food processor. Add salt and pulse until the dough comes together into a ball. Transfer dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is soft and pliable, about 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into thirds. Using a pasta machine working from the largest to smallest setting, roll dough until it is about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into 3 x 11-inch strips and transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.

Blanch pasta, a few strips at a time, in boiling salted water. Cook until pasta bobs and floats to the surface, about 5 to 7 minutes. Using tongs, remove pasta from water and drain well. Repeat with remaining pasta.

To make the béchamel combine butter and milk in a high-sided, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour and bring the contents of the pan to a boil, watching carefully to make sure the milk doesn’t boil over. Lower heat and allow sauce to actively simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens, about 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg and keep warm over low heat. Strain before serving.

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

To assemble the lasagna, spoon just enough Bolognese sauce to cover the bottom of a 9 x 11-inch baking dish. Spoon a thin layer of béchamel over sauce and top with about 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. Cover with a layer of pasta and repeat steps until you have 4 layers of pasta and end with a generous topping of Bolognese, béchamel, and remaining grated cheese. Bake until the lasagna is bubbling, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to rest for 15 minutes before serving.