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Who doesn’t love lasagne? This authentic recipe from the bible of Italian cooking, The Silver Spoon, uses white wine in the bolognese sauce instead of red wine for a lighter flavour.

Serves: 4 Preparation: 2 hr 50 min Cooking: 30 min

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 carrot, chopped

1 onion, chopped

620g ground meat

scant 1/2 cup dry white wine

generous 1 cup strained tomatoes

2 tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing

1 quantity Fresh Pasta Dough (see below)

1 quantity Bechamel Sauce (see below)

scant 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper


Method

Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the carrot and onion, and
cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add
the meat and cook until browned, then pour in the wine
and cook until it has evaporated. Season with salt, add the
tomatoes, and simmer for 30 minutes, then season with
pepper.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease an ovenproof dish
with butter. Roll out the pasta dough into a sheet. Cut into
10cm squares and cook, a few at a time, in plenty of lightly
salted, boiling water for a few minutes. Drain and place on a
damp dish towel.

Arrange a layer of lasagna on the bottom of
the prepared dish, spoon over some of the meat sauce, then
some of the bechamel sauce on top, sprinkle with some of
the Parmesan, and dot with some of the butter.

Repeat the
alternating layers until all the ingredients have been used,
ending with a layer of bechamel sauce. Bake for 30 minutes.

Fresh Pasta Dough (pasta all’uovo)

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

2 eggs, lightly beaten

salt

Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a mound on the counter. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs. Using your fingers, gradually incorporate the flour, then knead for about 10 minutes. If the mixture is too soft, add a little extra flour; if it is too firm, add a little water. Shape the dough into a ball and let rest for 15 minutes. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface or use a pasta machine to make a thin sheet, and cut out lasagne sheets.

Béchamel Sauce (beschiamella)

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2-1/4 cup milk

pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

salt and pepper


Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Pour in all the milk, whisking constantly until it starts to boil. Season with salt, lower the heat, cover, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes. Béchamel sauce should not taste floury. Remove the pan from the heat.

Taste, add salt if necessary, and season with pepper and/or nutmeg. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk. If too runny, return to the heat and add a pat of butter mixed with an equal quantity of all-purpose flour.


For a richer béchamel sauce, replace half the milk with the same amount of heavy cream; for a lighter béchamel sauce, add half milk and half water.

The Silver Spoon, published by Phaidon Press. RRP $59.95