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mamma mia! make a perfect lasagna | 1 2 3
continued from page 1

Classic Lasagna
This is my basic lasagna recipe, a simplified version of the sort of lasagna you’d more likely find in Florence, Italy, rather than in, say, the North End of Boston. If you want an even more "authentic" recipe, add minced carrot and celery to the meat sauce, and substitute the mozzarella with additional parmigiano.

12 dried curly lasagna noodles
1˝ cups grated parmigiano
˝ cup shredded mozzarella (an Americanized touch, but a concession to my boy, who insists that a proper lasagna must be topped with oozy, stretchy melty Mozzarella cheese. Feel free to substitute with parmigiano if you prefer)

for the meat sauce
2 tbsp. olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
2 lbs. ground beef or turkey (or a combo)
3 14-oz. cans of diced tomatoes, partially drained
1/3 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup red wine
crushed red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

for the béchamel sauce
4 tbsp. butter (substitute 2 tbsp. butter with olive oil if you prefer)
4 tbsp. flour
3˝ cups warmed milk
salt to taste

Make the meat sauce
1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan or saucepan (you’ll need at least 3 quart capacity). Add the onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or so, until the onions have turned translucent and begun to soften.
2. Add the meat, breaking it up with your spatula as you stir. Continue to cook until the meat loses its raw pink hue and turns a nice brown color. Season with salt to taste.
3. Add the tomatoes and red wine, along with the basil leaves (you can tear them into smaller bits if you like, or leave them whole). Once the mixture begins to bubble, turn the heat down a bit and simmer for at least an hour, until the liquid has mostly evaporated and the sauce has cooked down to a nice, thick consistency. (If you’re short on time, adding tomato paste will help bulk up the sauce in a jiffy.)
4. Sprinkle salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes to taste.

don't stop: the recipe continues!


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