Paper-thin lasagna noodles layered with besciamella, ragu Bolognese and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
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I am so glad you've added a recipe from Mario Batali (hopefully there'll be many more). I've made his lasagne bolognese several times even before it appeared on Roube and it is probably the best recipe out there for lasagna. The ragu is also very good as a ravioli filling or tossed with pasta. Mario's recipes have changed my whole way of making Italian food and family and friends all have commented that the results are very close, if not equal, to restaurant quality. The fresh pasta really does make a difference and is really not that difficult to make with either a manual or electric pasta maker. I do take a short cut by using a food processor to mix the dough (just by pulsing all the ingredients till a ball forms and dough just cleans the work bowl).
I knew I would love making this recipe when I read it. The only comments I can make are: Allow at least 5 hours to prepare. Have plenty of counter space & clean towels, and I did use both my cooktops. The effort was rewarded with the best lasagne I have ever tasted. Next time, however, I will make the pasta ahead of time & freeze it, as it is worth the extra effort, but quite time consuming. This should bring the total prep time down to about 3-1/2 hours.
It took a while, but the results were great. I made the noodles over one weekend and froze them...then I made the ragu and besciamella and put it all together the following weekend. The kitchen got a little messy, but the end result was the most delicious lasagna ever. Thank you for the recipe!
I did not make my own pasta, but did find fresh pasta sheets..This dish was out of this world..I added a couple links of italian sausage for additional flavor..everything else was perfect..True, it is time consuming, but worth every bite. Love to see more recipes from Mario!
I've made this recipe 3 times now. It is a fair amount of work but worth it. This will be a fun recipe to make in the winter on a cold day when all you want to do is stay in and cook. Mario's Lasagne is by far the best I have ever had. For those of you on the prairies, fresh nutmeg can sometimes be hard to find. I have usually found it a health food store or when in Alberta at a Nutter's.
I just tried my first shot with this recipe and all the family were amazed. I still have to work my way trough the pasta roller and reduce the work time.
Next Time I will try to have in advance as much as possible to not have starving everyone :P ( At least the pasta and besciamella)
I made this dish today and was extremely disappointed in the taste. I also bought fresh pasta sheets instead of making my own, but that wasn't the issue.
I think the nutmeg completely dominated the dish and didn't go well at all with the ragu. I had a couple of friends and family here when I tried it and they agreed.
I guess I would try this one more time without the nutmeg, but for all the work involved, I sure wasn't happy with the result.
Nutmeg is not for everyone. If you liked the ragu and you liked pasta, then all you have to do is flavor the besciamella until you like it - with or without the nutmeg.
Also, did you use fresh or ground nutmeg? I know Joe is not a fan of nutmeg (though, I use it more than he knows), and I almost always use fresh nutmeg. I feel it has a fresher more nutty flavor than already ground nutmeg.
One other comment. For this Lasagne, the pasta sheets have to be very thin. Many pasta sheets sold commercially are quite a bit thicker than those in Mario's recipe. I feel strongly that this makes a big difference to the texture and delicate nature of this dish. You can still use a pasta machine and roll out commercial pasta sheets, to make them a bit thinner.
Good luck. Keep us posted.
I used fresh nutmeg, which is normally something I enjoy in dishes, such as a wonderful butternut squash ravioli I made up. I did buy fresh pasta sheets from an italian pasta shop and ran them through my pasta machine all the way down to the lowest setting.
I appreciate your help, I'll make this again soon and we'll see what happens :)
Don't feel like you have to like something just because we said so. Everyone has different tastes and that is why the world is such an exciting and great place...we all have different tastes.
Love the effort though. Would also love your recipe for butternut squash ravioli...it's one of my favorites.
I think the ragu is better when made with the noodles and bechamel, as they soak up the sauce nicely. They also add lots of flavor to the lasagne.
That being said I am sorry you didn't love it. There is another ragu style sauce on Rouxbe called "Sun-dried Tomato Sauce"
This recipe is a bit spicier as it has spicy Italian and fennel sausage. It has always been a big hit.
Thanks for sharing, kimberley
Not sure I'm the best one to the answer this because I'm not a huge fan of soy milk but if you can thicken it with a roux it should work. I have tried this with Tayo (potato-based milk product) and it works fine. Tayo is a bit sweeter in flavor than soya milk though.
Took us a total of 6 hours, because we timed things wrong, but it was absolutely amazing. I was afraid there was way too much garlic in the ragu at first, especially since my mom didn't chop it very thin, but it turned out perfect.
I didn't find the nutmeg to be too much, we grated our own, and we made the pasta ourselves as well, which takes longer than you think, haha.
Our past machine only goes down to thinness of "6" but if yours goes further, use it, i think it could have been even better with thinner layers. Also, we did not have such a large pan so we used 10x13 and 8x8 le creuset bakers and it worked out perfect.
Yes, it is time consuming...but so very yummy! I also agree with you that the thinner the pasta, the better. The roller I have goes to #9 and this gives you paper thin noodles.
I also agree with you, the pasta certainly does take longer than you think to roll out, this is also why I have a motor for my pasta machine (what a dream it is).
However, I think the fact that this lasagne does take longer to make than many pasta dishes, helps to make it taste just that much better.
I love this recipe. Have made it several times--including yesterday for friends. They were amazed as they had never had this type of lasagne before. My husband says it's the best pasta dish he's ever eaten. Re: nutmeg--I only use a grating or two of fresh nutmeg-not 1/2 tsp-and it's just enough to give the beschimella a little depth.
Like Betty L above, I also make my pasta in the food processor. Comes out great every time. After struggling with a manual pasta machine (always felt like I needed another hand!) I bought the pasta roller attachment for my KitchenAid mixer and now making pasta is a cinch.
Today is the day that I am taking a shot at preparing my first Rouxbe recipe. And I can't wait! Last year, I went to a restaurant in NY called Union Square Market and chef Carmen Quagliata served the best lasagne I ever ate, which seems to be very similar to Batali's lasagne bolognese. I think he used added some ricotta and mushrooms as well. I almost felt guilty eating it because my wife, Sabrina, wasn't with me to taste it. So, we are both making this lasagne together today. Hope it comes out good. Will let you know how it goes.
Here are the things that we are adding to the recipe, let me know your thought if you have any before we start:
1. Fresh Ricotta - we are making our fresh ricotta from this dish (we plan on adding ricotta to a few layers with the besciamella)
2. Tomato Paste - we are using an Estratto from Sicily for the ragu
3. Mushrooms and/or peas (maybe) for the ragu - let me know your thoughts