The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.
I love to make Lasagna at home, but this was my first green one! And I'm now a green believer!
Only 3 ingredients.
Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna (Lasagne Verdi al Forno)
- 10 quarts (9 litres) salted water
- 1 recipe Spinach Pasta cut for lasagna (recipe follows)#1
- 1 recipe Bechamel Sauce
- 1 recipe Country Style Ragu
- 1 cup (4 ounces/125g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Spinach Egg Pasta (Pasta Verde)
- 2 jumbo eggs (2 ounces/60g or more)
- 10 ounces (300g) fresh spinach, rinsed dry, and finely chopped; or 6 ounces (170g) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
- 3&1/2 cups (14 ounces/400g) all purpose unbleached (plain) flour (organic stone ground preferred)
Mound the flour in the center of your work surface and make a well in the middle. Add the eggs and spinach. Use a wooden spoon to beat together the eggs and spinach. Then gradually start incorporating shallow scrapings of flour from the sides of the well into the liquid. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes. Its consistency should be elastic and a little sticky. If it is too sticky to move easily, knead in a few more tablespoons of flour. Continue kneading about 10 minutes, or until the dough has become satiny, smooth, and very elastic. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and let it relax at room temperature 30 minutes to 3 hours. (I’ve used a pasta machine to roll it out). Dry the pasta at room temperature and store in a sealed container or bag. Cooking the Pasta: Bring the salted water to a boil. Drop about four pieces of pasta in the water at a time. Cook about 2 minutes. If you are using dried pasta, cook about 4 minutes, taste, and cook longer if necessary. The pasta will continue cooking during baking, so make sure it is only barely tender. Lift the lasagna from the water with a skimmer, drain, and then slip into the bowl of cold water to stop cooking. When cool, lift out and dry on the paper towels. Repeat until all the pasta is cooked.
Roll it baby, roll it!
Assembling the Lasagne: Spread a thin layer of béchamel over the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange a layer of about four overlapping sheets of pasta over the béchamel. Spread a thin layer of béchamel (about 3 or 4 spoonfuls) over the pasta, and then an equally thin layer of the ragu. Sprinkle with about 1&1/2 tablespoons of the béchamel and about 1/3 cup of the cheese. Repeat the layers until all ingredients are used, finishing with béchamel sauce and topping with a generous dusting of cheese.
Layers and more layers. Yummy and more yummy!
Baking the Lasagne: Cover the baking dish lightly with foil, taking care not to let it touch the top of the lasagne. Bake 40 minutes, or until almost heated through. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes.
Gotta love a cheesy topping!
After baking my lasagna I cut round portions of it ( they looked like lasagna burgers) and served them on a grilled portobello mushroom (the bun?). It was a delicious meal!
Aren't you a tiny bit green with envy? So go to the awesome new site of the Daring Bakers and check all the other lasagnas!