Manly Man Lasagna

Total Time:
5 hr 45 min
Prep:
1 hr 15 min
Inactive:
30 min
Cook:
4 hr

Yield:
12 to 20 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 4 (25-ounce) jars tomato sauce (recommended: Emeril's Kicked Up Tomato Sauce)
  • 3 1/2 pounds spinach, stemmed and washed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound portobello mushroom caps, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan Bechamel Sauce, recipe follows
  • 30 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups grated Fontina
  • 3 cups grated mozzarella
  • 3 pounds dried lasagna sheets (1-ounce per sheet)
  • 5 cups grated Parmesan
  • Bolognese Sauce, recipe follows
Directions

Set a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to the pan and once the oil is hot, crumble the sausage into the pan. Cook the sausage, stirring often until well browned on all sides, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomato sauce to the pan and allow the sauce to simmer, for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Drain in a fine mesh strainer, pressing with a large spoon to release as much water as possible. Finely chop and set aside until ready to assemble the lasagna.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and season with the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and have given off their liquid, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. Set aside until ready to assemble the lasagna.

In a bowl, combine the 2 cups of the Bechamel sauce, the ricotta, Fontina, and mozzarella cheeses. Set aside until ready to assemble the lasagna.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 15 1/2 by 11 1/2 by 4-inch roasting pan with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Ladle 4 cups of the Italian sausage-tomato sauce into the bottom of the pan. Lay 6 lasagna sheets across the top of the tomato sauce. Spread 1/2 of the spinach and half of the mushrooms over the top of the pasta, and pour 3 cups of the Parmesan Bechamel over the mushrooms and spinach. Sprinkle 1 cup of the Parmesan over the bechamel, as well as 1/2 the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with another layer of 6 lasagna sheets. Place 1/2 of the bolognese over the lasagna and top with another layer of pasta. Pour another 4 cups of the tomato sausage sauce over the pasta, and top with another layer of pasta. Spread the remaining spinach, mushrooms and bechamel over the pasta and sprinkle another cup of Parmesan over top. Top with the remaining ricotta cheese mixture and lay another row of pasta over the cheese mixture. Spread the remaining bolognese sauce over the pasta and top with another row of pasta sheets. Pour the remaining tomato sausage sauce over the pasta.

Wrap the top of the roasting pan with aluminum foil and set the roasting pan on a baking sheet. Bake covered for 1 1/2 hours, or until the pasta sheets are cooked through. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and remove and discard the aluminum foil. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top of the tomato sauce, and return the pan to the oven. Bake until the cheese is well browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow lasagna to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Parmesan Bechamel Sauce:

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

8 cups milk

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 cups grated Parmesan

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, to make a light roux, about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly add the milk and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, 5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and Parmesan and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the bechamel until ready to assemble the lasagna.

Yield: about 2 quarts

Bolognese Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter

12 ounces bacon, diced

8 ounces ham, diced

1 pound ground veal

1 pound ground pork

2 pounds ground beef

3 cups chopped onions

1 cup finely chopped carrots

1 cup finely chopped celery

1 pound thinly sliced button mushrooms

3 tablespoons minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

2 cups dry white wine

4 cups chicken stock

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup chicken livers, finely chopped

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

In a large Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and ham and cook until caramelized and light brown, about 15 minutes. Add the ground meats and cook over high heat until well browned, stirring constantly, about 20 minutes.

Add the onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, cloves and nutmeg to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and stock and simmer over medium-high heat until sauce is thickened and flavorful, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken livers to the pot and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and parsley, and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Set aside until ready to assemble lasagna.

Yield: about 3 quarts


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Pairs Well With
Sangiovese

Bright, fruity Italian red wine

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