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Pork Ragu Lasagna with Pesto Bechamel

October 16, 2018

Pork Ragu and Pesto Bechamel Lasagna

Pork Ragu

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups fresh tomato sauce
  • Salt

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the pork and cook on high heat and separate the meat with a wooden spoon. Saute for a 3 to 4 minutes on medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Saute for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and sauté for a minute. Add the tomato sauce and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Add salt if necessary and turn heat off and keep aside.

Bechamel Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup fresh or store bought pesto

Heat a medium saucepan and add the flour and butter. Melt the butter on medium high heat. Cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Slowly add the milk and whisk to make sure all the lumps are taken out. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the nutmeg and salt. Turn the heat off and keep aside. Add the pesto and mix well.

Lasagna

  • 1 cup shredded Pecorino Romano
  • 12 lasagna sheets (I used no boil pasta)

Preheat oven to 400 degree F.

Line a 9 X 11 glass pan with a quarter cup of béchamel sauce. Cover the bottom and add four pasta sheets. Spread one cup of meat sauce on top. Sprinkle ¼ cup shredded Pecorino. Place another 4 sheets on top. Pour about ¾ cup of béchamel sauce- spreading it all over the pasta. Add another cup of meat sauce. Add ¼ cup of shredded Pecorino. Place another 4 sheets on top and cover with the remaining béchamel sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Take the cover off, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake for another 15. Serve hot with salad and garlic bread.

Julia Child’s Coq Au Vin- My Version

December 5, 2016

My take on Julia Child’s classic… try it…

  • 2-3 pound whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces and skin removed
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/3 cup bacon, cut into a small dice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 (10 oz) packs of cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup cognac
  • 2 cups red wine (pinot noir, zinfandel- any light red wine)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Heat a large Dutch oven with one tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Add the bacon bits and sauté on medium heat till the bits are golden brown. Take the bacon out and keep aside. Add the chicken pieces in two batches and brown on both side, sprinkling salt and pepper. Take the chicken pieces out and keep aside.
Reheat the pan and add one tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté on high heat till they are golden brown- about 7 to 8 minutes. Take the mushrooms out and keep aside. Add the onions and garlic. Saute on medium high heat till the onions are soft and translucent- about 3-4 minutes. Add the fresh thyme and tomato paste. Saute for a minute and add the cognac. Scrape all the bits off the bottom and mix for 30 seconds and add the red wine and the chicken broth. Bring to a boil on high heat and add the chicken pieces. Bring back to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cover with lid. Take out the two breast pieces after about 20 minutes and keep aside. Continue to cook the rest for another 30 minutes. Take out the chicken pieces with the breast pieces. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce to about 2½ cups. In the meantime add the flour and oil to a small bowl. Mix well and add to the simmering sauce, whisking it in to avoid lumps. Bring to a boil. Taste for seasonings and add salt if needed. Add the mushrooms and chicken pieces. Top with the bacon bits and chopped parsley.
Serve on top of toasted baguette slices rubbed with fresh garlic. Serve with the same red wine you used for the sauce.

Mushroom and Truffle Ragu Lasagna

February 21, 2010

Mushroom and Truffles and Ragu2 We were entertaining a few weekends ago and yet again, I was at a loss- what should I make?? My brain is usually all stressed out until something comes to mind and then I am at peace.

As I have mentioned many times before, our favorite restaurant is Arturos here in Maplewood. My favorite thing to eat there is a wild boar and mushroom ragu. I love that dish- I actually dream about it. It is consistently good and I can’t get enough of it.

I decided to make something similar but in a lasagna form. I had recently bought some dried mushrooms from Trader Joes. I reconstituted them and added them to some delicious cremini mushrooms. I used ground turkey meat instead of wild boar- well where was I supposed to get that?? Anyway, I am more comfortable using turkey meat for health reasons. The lasagna was layered with a simple bechamel sauce. I also used a truffle paste I picked up from Spello, Italy. I finished the ragu with a drizzle of truffle oil (thanks to Trader Joes).

I served the lasagna with a garlic cheese bread and a citrus salad. I of course had to serve a side of fresh tomato sauce- since my husband loves his red sauce.

It turned out to be a very successful dinner. Everything was delicious- I was very happy. Next time you have a few minutes- try the mushroom and truffle ragu- you won’t regret it.
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