Italian-style Lasagne with Bolognese and Spinach

Ingredients

12 No-boil dried lasagne noodles
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bolognese Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
3 ounces sliced pancetta, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 pounds ground beef chuck (not lean)
1-1/2 cups dry white wine
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup tomato paste
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper

Ricotta Filling

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 (15-ounce) containers whole-milk ricotta
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup whole milk

Method

  1. To make sauce, heat oil in a 12- to 14-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Cook pancetta, onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are golden and softened, 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up any lumps, until meat is no longer pink, 6 to 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in wine, milk, tomato paste, thyme, salt, and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid has evaporated but sauce is still moist, about 1 hour.
  4. To make the ricotta filling, put spinach in a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and twist to squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
  5. Whisk together ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Transfer 1-1/2 cups ricotta mixture to another bowl and whisk in 1/4 cup milk; set aside.
  6. Whisk spinach into remaining filling with remaining 1/2 cup milk.
  7. Preheat oven to 375°F, with rack in middle.
  8. Soak noodles in a bowl of very warm water until pliable but not softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Place on a kitchen towel (it’s not necessary to pat them dry).
  9. Spread 1-1/2 cups Bolognese sauce in a 13-by 9-inch baking pan (3-inch deep) and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Cover with 3 noodles, leaving space in between. Spread half of spinach filling on top, then 1 cup Bolognese sauce, and top with 1 tablespoon Parmesan and 3 noodles; repeat. Top with remaining Bolognese sauce, 1 tablespoon Parmesan, and remaining 3 noodles.
  10. Pour reserved ricotta mixture over top and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  11. Cover pan tightly with parchment paper and foil (or just buttered foil) and bake 50 minutes.
  12. Remove foil and bake until top is browned in spots, about 15 minutes more.
  13. Let stand for 15 to 30 minutes before cutting.

Cooks’ Notes:

  1. The Bolognese sauce can be made 2 days ahead and chilled (covered once cool).
  2. The lasagne can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Reheat in a 350°F oven, loosely covered with foil.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Gourmet Italian

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Baked Quick-to-make Meatloaves with Milk and Vegetables

Ingredients

3/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1 tsp dried basil or oregano
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 carrot
1 small zucchini
1-1/2 lbs lean ground beef, chicken, pork, turkey or veal
1/4 cup ketchup or barbecue sauce

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, basil, salt, pepper, milk and eggs, let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, peel carrot. Shred carrot and zucchini on the coarse side of a cheese or box grater and measure 1/2 cup of each.
  4. Add to milk mixture in bowl.
  5. Add ground meat and blend well with a fork. Scoop mixture evenly into a 12-cup muffin pan. Pack lightly and flatten tops. Spread with ketchup or barbecue sauce.
  6. Place muffin pan on a rimmed baking sheet to catch drips. Bake for 20 min or until thermometer inserted in centre of one registers at least 165°F (74°C).
  7. Remove meatloaves from pan with two spoons, draining off excess liquid.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Dairy Farmers of Canada

French-style Starter with Escartgots

Ingredients

6 dozen canned snails
3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
1-1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp green Chartreuse (a French liqueur)
2 cups whipping cream
lemon juice
grated lemon zest
2 tbsp chopped parsley
salt
black pepper

Method

  1. Drain the snails.
  2. Sweat the finely chopped shallots and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until tender, then add the hazelnuts, followed by the snails.
  3. Add the butter and continue to cook gently for 6-7 minutes.
  4. Pour in the Chartreuse, turn up the heat, and boil until the pan is almost dry.
  5. Add the cream and simmer until the mixture has the consistency of a sauce.
  6. Season well and finish with a few drops of lemon juice and a little finely grated zest. Serve in little pots with a sprinkling of parsley.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: The French Kitchen

Roasted Rack of Venison

Ingredients

1.2 kg rack of venison, trimmed and tied
1 leek, trimmed and halved lengthwise
3 tbsp olive oil
1-1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp cracked pepper
3 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. In a pan of boiling salted water, submerge the leeks for 1 minute and then refresh in cold water. Choose the longest strips of leeks to cover up the string around the venison, tucking the strips into themselves at the back to hold them in place.
  3. Brush the meat with the olive oil and then rub in the combined salt, pepper and coriander seeds.
  4. In a very hot heavy pan, seal the meat on both sides until golden brown, about 30-40 seconds each side, and then place in a roasting tray.
  5. Cook in the preheated oven for 15 minutes for rare, 20 minutes for medium or 25 minutes for well done.
  6. Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Wall Paper