July 10, 2005
Sunday lunch lasagna
A sudden rainfall this morning cooled us off enough that I was inspired to make a Sunday Lasagna, Tuscan Style. No Ricotta, no mozzarella, this light lasagna bakes up more like a delicate souffle, melting in your mouth! Lasagna al Forno is the baked lasagna where as lasagna can also be a smaller noodle as the one used for the Lasagne di San Lorenzo, celebrated August 10th, when the vendors at the San Lorenzo Market in Florence offer Lasagna and watermelon to all!
I had some leftover Duck Ragu from a cooking class and some fabulous dry Lasagna Riccia from the Garofolo factory in Naples.
I preheated the oven, whipped up some Bechamel sauce and had my husband Andrea, grate the parmesan cheese.
I make my sauces liquid, so that I don’t have to precook my pasta noodles, allowing them to soak up the extra liquid to cook the pasta while baking, saving me time and trouble!
In Florence Ragu is called Sugo and is made mostly with beef, sometimes adding a little pork for extra fat and flavor! It is also surprising how little tomato sauce is used in making Sugo or Ragu. Tomatoes are fairly new to Italy, only being used since 1650's after the discovery of the New World. I often make my sugo without tomato, using red wine in it's place. I call this my Sugo DiVino!
Tuscan Lasagna al Forno
Cover the bottom of a baking dish with some sugo and béchamel sauce.
Place a layer of dry pasta on top.
Cover with béchamel, ragu and sprinkle with parmesan.
For a light meal I only did 4 layers, an Italian Mamma’s party lasagna would be at least 10 layers, using fresh pasta!
Bake at 375 until a knife easily pierces through the pasta, showing it is cooked!
Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.