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Lasagne alla Pugliese

Posted by TEAM TDSV on 2022-08-01
Lasagne alla Pugliese, traditional lasagne recipe from our family archives at Terre Di San Vito
Traditional baked pasta from Puglia
serves 6
Watch our video HERE
 
One of our ‘top five’ dishes of all time!
This is a dish that takes time but it is an incredible crowd pleaser. It is well known all around the world, alongside other Italian dishes such as pizza and spaghetti!
The longer the ragu cooks, the deeper and fuller the flavour. 
It is another recipe that is made all year round but is usually reserved for special occasions. However, Lasagne goes back to the 4th century BC. There is archaeological evidence of thin sheets of pasta, much like modern lasagna, dating back centuries. Frescoes have been found in the Tomba dei Rilievi (“Tomb of Reliefs”) in Lazio near Rome that show the tools and ingredients for pasta-making as well as banquets showing diners enjoying a version of lasagne!
Just like our parmigiana or pasta al forno recipes, this is traditionally cooked in a large terracotta pot and where possible in a pizza oven, but a large roasting tray or oven dish will still produce an incredibly unforgettable dish. Of course there are regional variations and you will probably make your own tweaks!
We would love your feedback and if you decide to follow our recipe, drop us a line or send us your photos!
Buon appetito!
 
Top tip: Prepare each of the components so they are ready for the final assembly
 
Ingredients:
For the soffritto
2 tbsp Terre Di San Vito extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely diced
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
 
 
For the sauce:
700g minced meat
(preferably a mixture of beef, pork and veal but whatever you can get)
2 x 500ml Jars passata
Tap water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 glass Apeneste white wine
A pinch of grated/fresh nutmeg
 
For the béchamel sauce:
 
100g butter
100g plain flour
1000 ml whole milk
Salt and pepper to taste
A pinch of grated/fresh nutmeg
 
 
For the lasagne:
You are aiming for 3 or 4 layers of lasagne so quantity will depend on the size of the dish you are using. We recommend using they dry pasta sheets and not the fresh.
1000g dried lasagne sheets (x2 packs approx)
300g (approx) freshly grated parmesan cheese.
 
Step1 Preparing the meat sauce:
Finely chop the carrot, celery and onion and sweat slowly with a little olive oil in a large, deep skillet or pan.
When soft and the onions are translucent, add the minced meat and brown whilst breaking it up with a spoon.
When browned, add the glass of white wine and reduce by half.
Once the wine has reduced, add the 2 jars of tomato passata, fill each of the empty jars with a little water (about ¼ of each jar) and swirl them around to gather the remaining sauce and empty into the sauce.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper and a light grating of nutmeg.
Stir then simmer for about 2 hours – until most of the tomato sauce has been absorbed, leaving a thick meaty sauce.
 
Step2 Preparing the bechamel:
Add the butter to a saucepan and cook on a medium heat until it is melted and bubbling.
Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and keep stirring for 2 or 3 miniutes so the flour can cook out.
My secret is then to change over to a whisk and slowly add half of the milk into the butter and flour whisking constantly to avoid any lumps.
Once it has started to thicken add the rest of the milk and a small pinch of nutmeg (if using fresh nutmeg, just 4 scrapes on your grater is plenty) and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Continue to heat the sauce whilst stirring until thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Take off the heat and set aside
 
Step3 Assembling the Lasagne:
Into your baking dish, add a ladle of the béchamel. Swirl it around so it lightly coats the base of your baking dish.
 Add a ladle of the ragu on top of the béchamel.
 Top with a single layer of lasagne pasta sheets. Ensure the sheets go from edge to edge – snap them to fit if required. They can overlap but very slightly.
Repeat the layers of béchamel, ragu and pasta sheets until you have 3 or 4 layers.
For the final layer, mix your remaining ragu with the béchamel and cover the dry pasta sheet.
Sprinkle over the freshly grated parmesan cheese.
 
Bake in a pre-heated oven (180°) for approx. 1 hour or until the top has turned golden with some slightly darker, crunchy bits!
 
Step4 To serve:
Bring the dish straight to the table and serve! It is of course, the star attraction!
 
Buon appetito!
 
Top tip:
  • The ragu needs at least 2-3 hours to simmer so the incredible flavour can develop. You just won't get the same depth of flavour by turning the heat up or using any shortcuts.
  • Don't cover the ragu as it's simmering or it won't concentrate in flavour enough.
  • If you find the ragu has reduced and thickened too much add more water ½ cup (125ml) at a time.
  • You can make the beef ragu a day or two in advance to cut the prep time down.
  • Don’t be scared to let the top burn – it makes the dish even more tasty!
  • Easily adapted to a vegetarian dish. You can substitute the meat for quorn, chopped vegetables of the season or delicious seafood. However, for a seafood lasagne, we would recommend removing the tomato sauce and using only the béchamel.
 
Serve with a bottle of our fabulous Terre Di San Apeneste white wine or if you are like me, a glass of my favourite wine Il Vescovo!
Salute!🍷

 

 

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