Lasagne Bolognese

Lasagne Bolognese

Lasagna Bolognese.

Fresh made pasta is available at Granville Island Market from the source Zara’s Italian Deli. Or you can make your own homemade lasagna pasta (sometimes called “lasagna noodles”) with a dough made of flour and eggs, with or without spinach—or using just semolina (durum wheat flour) and water.

But today, the dried packaged ready-to-use lasagna noodles available in the grocery store are really excellent. When using regular store-bought lasagna noodles boil them in batches. To avoid the noodles sticking together, place them vertically on the sides of the pot of boiling water, and allow them to fall one on top of the other as they cook; stir gently and cook them very al dente. Remove them (using the proper utensils, such as tongs and a sieve) from the boiling water and bathe them for few seconds in a bowl of cold water; then lay them over a kitchen towel. DeCecco lasagna noodles are perfect for this lasagna alla Bolognese. White lasagna noodles, with or without eggs, are suitable for all other preparations. A few helpful tips: Remember to oil/butter your baking pan before assembling your lasagna; and after your lasagna has finished baking, allow it to cool for at least five minutes before serving.

Italian imported bronze-cut lasagna made from organic semolina, as well as bronze-cut organic whole wheat lasagna are both available in most supermarkets nowadays. Bronze-cut pasta provides a rougher, more porous texture which absorbs sauce and seasoning better than most industrially produced pasta.

Using bronze-cut noodles will give your lasagna a more authentic Italian taste.

Here is my sauce version using store bought items that you will have in your pantry.

1 package of DeCecco lasagna noodles. Follow directions for cooking instructions and set a side.

You will need for the sauce.

1×28 oz. can of whole plum tomatoes.

1 litre of a good organic Italian strained tomato sauce.

2 tbs of fresh olive oil

1 lb. of lean ground chuck beef.

1 Italian spicy sausage meat removed from the casing and added to the ground beef.

1 large white onion chopped

1 green bell pepper chopped

8 large mushrooms cut into chunks

1 zucchini cut into chunks

1 shallot peeled and grated

4 cloves of garlic grated

½ teaspoon beef bouillon

Fresh ground pepper

Sea salt to taste

3 cups grated Mozzarella cheese

1 round of Boccioni cheese sliced

3 tbs of grated parmesan cheese.

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

2 oz. of wine

Start in a large heavy bottom sauté pan adding the olive oil and minced garlic and shallot over medium heat. Add the meat, salt and pepper and continue to sauté till browning begins using med high heat.

Now add the herbs and spices along with the onions and peppers stirring into the mixture blending well. Add the zucchini and mushrooms, stirring until well blended and the veggies soften.

Remove from this pan and add the ingredients into a large stainless steel pot with lid.

Add the tomatoes and the parmesan cheese stirring into the mixture. Add the strained tomato sauce, beef bouillon and the wine. Mix well.

Cook over low heat for at least 90 minutes till all the flavours are married together.

Now in an oiled glass baking dish, add 1 ladle of the Bolognese sauce and add three noodles over lapping to cover the bottom. Add some more sauce with a liberal sprinkling of grated mozzarella. Add three more noodles; only lay running in the opposite direction.

Continue this 3 more times and then place the final layer of sauce on the top and use the rest of the grated cheese and the sliced Bononcini to cover.

Place on the middle rack with a catch pan below to catch bubble over at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or till the top is golden brown.

Let the lasagna sit for 10 minutes while you prepare the salad and heat up some good crusty bread.

Put a nice portion on a dish and garnish with some fresh basil. Serve with the side salad and some good crisp wine!