Lasagne Emiliane

Author: Marthinus Strydom
Category: Beef Mince
Serves/Qty: 4
Marthinus Strydom

Traditional lasagna is easy to make. Don’t look at these other complicated recipes with millions of ingredients. Traditional lasagna is simple and easy. And it tastes better than any other recipe I have ever tried.

The Story

Emilia-Romagna is a region in northern Italy, extending from the Apennine Mountains to the Po River in the north. It's known for its medieval cities, rich gastronomy and seaside resorts. The capital, Bologna, is a vibrant city with an 11th-century university and arched porticos lining the streets and squares of its medieval core. Ravenna, near the Adriatic coast, is famed for its brightly colored Byzantine mosaics.

Emilia Romagna lies between the River Po to its north and the Apennine Mountains (to its south). It is one of the most fertile and productive regions of Italy, thanks to the mitigating effect that the Adriatic Sea has on the coastal climate.

The diversity between the mountains and sea offers visitors to Emilia Romagna breathtaking views, in addition to beauty for both the eyes and spirit, with a mixture of the earthy colors, the aromas and the fresh sea air. Not to mention that Emilia Romagna is a hotbed for music, cinema and art appreciated nationally and internationally.

Many who love the combination of sun, sea and entertainment choose the Romagna Riviera. It possesses the longest beach in Europe, and is where visitors flock to enjoy its sport offerings and leisure facilities. Towns such as Rimini, Riccione and Cattolica are highly-outfitted for touristic reception, emphasizing relaxation and fun.

Further from the coast, the beautiful landscape of the Apennines, for instance, makes the region ideal for horseback riding or trekking in the area between Parma and Piacenza. Make a visit to the splendid parks and wonderful nature reserves.

The hinterland features several wellness spas like Salsomaggiore and Bagno di Romagna, due to its many types of water springs, as well as modern facilities and technology.

Both culinary and artistic methods found themselves on the fertile soil of this land, and their roots run deep.

This is the land of Verdi’s novels and Giovanni Pascoli’s poetry, as well as Fellini’s unmistakable cinema - a director who became a legend through his many masterpieces that come to life in this, his native region. In Emilia Romagna, one can enjoy amazing views anywhere, and the list of places to choose from is endless.

Emilia Romagna sits on the border with the third-smallest country in Europe, the Republic of San Marino.

More about Italy

Italy is one of those countries about which you probably have quite a number of preconceptions before you have put one foot into the country. A country of olive oil and mafia, pasta, wine and sunshine, roman ruins and renaissance palaces, Italy has a lot to offer its visitors. Although some of these images are appealing, it would be a shame if that was the only thing you come away with. Italy is certainly much more complex and interesting than that.

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Ingredients
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Bolognese ragu
45 ml extra virgin olive oil
25 g butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
150 g pancetta, cubed
200 g minced beef
200 g minced pork
200 ml red wine
2 tbsp tomato paste
200 ml beef stock
White sauce
40 g butter
40 g plain flour
500 ml milk
salt & black pepper
100 g grated parmesan cheese
8 dried lasagne sheets

Method

Bolognese ragu

 
  1. Heat the extra virgin olive oil and butter in a pan, add the onion, celery, carrot and pancetta and sweat on a gentle heat for about 10 minutes until the onion has softened.
  2. Add the meat and brown all over.
  3. Increase the heat, add the wine and allow to evaporate.
  4. Dilute the tomato puree in a little of the stock and stir into the meat.
  5. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook on a gentle heat for 2 hours, checking and adding a little extra stock from time to time to avoid the sauce from drying out.

For the white sauce

 
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
  2. Make the white sauce – melt the butter in a small pan on a medium heat, remove from the heat, stir in the flour with a small hand whisk (this will avoid lumps from forming) until you get a paste, stir in a little milk. Return to the heat, add the remaining milk and stirring all the time, cook on a medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from the heat, season with salt & pepper and stir in about a third of the grated parmesan.
  3. Line an ovenproof dish with a little of the Bolognese sauce, arrange sheets of lasagne over followed by more sauce, then a layer of white sauce, sprinkle some grated parmesan and continue making layers like this until you have used up all the ingredients ending with a topping of white sauce and grated parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake in the hot oven for about 30 - 35 minutes until golden-brown. Remove, leave to rest for a couple of minutes and serve.

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