INGREDIENTS (this recipe easily feeds 8)
For the Bolognese:
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 cup each of diced carrots, celery, onion, minced garlic
1/3 each of pork beef veal (about 2 – 3 pounds)
1 cup tomato paste, 1 can plum tomatoes with juice, 1 cup red wine….good red wine, 1 cup good beef or veggie stock
1/3 cups of fresh sage, rosemary and 1 or 2 bay leaves
For the Ricotta mixture:
2 tubs of Italian ricotta (fresh) You will know it’s the fresh ricotta when it is packaged/covered with plastic wrap not a plastic lid. Purchase from an Italian market rather than a grocery store.
1 cup of half and half cream
1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and papper
For the cheesy topping:
4 cups of the cheese of your choice. I like fontina and montasio because of their nice rich flavour. I find mozza not that flavourful.
Turn oven on to 350°
In a large pot / dutch oven, on medium heat, saute your onions, garlic, celery and carrots in some good olive oil. Season with salt and papper. Once this mix is carmelized, add all of your meat and brown well. Browning and carmelizing makes everything taste better. Deglaze your pot with wine, pour in your tomato paste and tomatoes and stock. Toss in your herbs and add some more salt and pepper. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for half an hour until thickened and delicious looking.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix your ricotta and parmesan cheese with eggs, cream and a pinch of nutmeg.
In the bottom of a 9 x 13 deep dish baking dish, add some Bolognese sauce to coat the bottom spreading it out in an even layer. Arrange a layer of lasagna noodles (for me, they have to be fresh) to cover the layer of sauce. Then, spread a nice thick layer of the ricotta cheese mixture. Then another layer of pasta, then Bolognese sauce again. A final layer of lasagna noodles topped off with more sauce and lastly lots and lots of grated fontina and montasio cheese. Cover first with parchment paper and then heavy duty foil. This will give you a beautiful golden cheese finish which will not stick to the foil.
Place the lasagna on a baking sheet and bake until it is hot and bubbly…about 1 hour and 15 minutes. For the last 15 minutes of cooking time, I like to take off the covering and get a nice browning of the cheese topping.
Let sit for 15 minutes (if you can) before slicing.
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