Posts Tagged ‘pancetta’

ALLIE’S “THE BEST LASAGNE EVER” LASAGNA RECIPE

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Lasagna recipe halfway down this post… This past weekend was very relaxing, but also very refreshing. On Saturday, Allan and I spent most of the day cleaning the apartment, watching a couple movies at home, and playing video games.

Saturday was much needed, as it’s been a while since my entire family got out and did something together. Sure, we usually see each other every week… but it was nice to get out of the house and do activities together.

Dad's Tulips

First, Allan and I stopped by my parent’s house to pick everyone up. My dad’s tulips were out in full force…. reminding me that spring really is here!
Then it was off to the driving range.

Golf clubs Driver

Mom and Dad Byron (Little Bro)

It was fun to get together and hit a couple balls… although I ended up trying to teach them the golf swing most of the time, haha. Reminds me how I really need to get back into going to the range regularly before I’m ready to play on full courses again this year.

Allan on the tractor at the farmer's market

We then headed to the theatre to watch “Date Night”, Tina Fey and Steve Carell’s new movie. It was funny and endearing, albeit a little strange to watch with my parents. We also stopped at the farmer’s market in Richmond that my parents normally go to, and picked up a couple bags of produce.

Mom's Leche Flan

Then, it was back to the house where we madly consumed some amazing “leche flans” that my mom makes (it’s kinda like crème caramel)…

Finally, we finished the day at Granville Island where we picked up our weekly groceries and got supplies to make lasagne… Allan has been asking me to make my lasagne for a while now, so I FINALLY got to it. Last night we also watched Food Inc, which was quite the eye-opener, but I’m going to save that for another post.

ALLIE’S “THE BEST LASAGNE EVER” LASAGNA RECIPE
Makes a 9×13 pan of lasagne, enough for 8-10 people

Allan declares this the best lasagna he has ever had (and he’s had quite a few), and quite honestly I would agree. I know that’s not very humble, but seriously, this lasagna will rock your world.

Best Ever Lasagna (Lasagne) Recipe

My lasagne recipe has changed a lot over the years. It started with a simple bolognese sauce recipe that I got from my mom when I started cooking after high school. It was always layers of pasta with the meat sauce. In my last year of university, I started using ricotta cheese to make the dish more rich. Finally, when I graduated and traveled to Italy, I had the most AMAZING lasagne and discovered the secret of béchamel sauce, which actually is a more traditional Italian way of making lasagne (or so they say) but not as widely used in North America. Now, several iterations later, I think I’ve managed to put together a pretty darn good lasagne recipe. I use “lasagne” and “lasagna” interchangeably here for my recipe, because I think it combines some good Italian traditions with a bit of a North America twist.

The secret? Fresh pasta, a rich tomato meat sauce, the béchamel sauce (far superior to ricotta in my opinion), and good quality cheeses. I also like a layer of zucchini in there, but of course it’s completely optional. Last night I tried cooking with veal for the first time instead of beef, and I’m totally in love. I realize that this may be a moral/ethical issue for some, so feel free to substitute beef/pork/chicken for the veal. But if you don’t mind, it really is divine and I can’t recommend it enough.

Ingredients:
Please use high quality organic, local ingredients whenever possible.

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 lb ground veal (can substitute beef… but I highly recommend Montreal milk-fed veal from Granville Island or your local market)
1 lb ground pork
4 oz pancetta, chopped
1 Spanish chorizo sausage, chopped
2 red onions
6 cloves of garlic
3 carrots, chopped (if using non-organic carrots just use one large one)
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 zucchini, thinly sliced into rounds (optional)
1 red pepper, diced
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 medium/large can of Italian tomatoes
1/2 cup strong red Italian wine
1/2 cup of 2% milk for the meat sauce, plus 3 cups milk for the béchamel
2 handfuls of fresh herbs (oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, and one bay leaf)
5 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/4 cup of good quality flour
1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground chili pepper or paprika/cayenne
About 1 lb of fresh pasta sheets (homemade preferred, but you can also buy from your local market)
1 cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 cup of freshly grated mozzarella (preferably a Tre Stelle mozza ball.. you can find these at supermarkets or Whole Foods in a pinch)
1 large Bocconcini ball (fresh mozzarella balls), sliced
Salt and pepper

Best Ever Lasagna (Lasagne) Recipe

1. Using a large saucepan or dutch oven (e.g. a big Le Creuset or other large pot), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, stir a couple times, and then add the carrots, celery and cook until translucent approximately 5-7 minutes.

Best Ever Lasagna (Lasagne) Recipe Best Ever Lasagna (Lasagne) Recipe

2. Add the meats (veal, pork, pancetta, and sausage) and stir vigorously to break up the meat.  Use high heat to brown it. This should take approximately 10 minutes.

Best Ever Lasagna (Lasagne) Recipe

3. Now, add the milk and stir in gently. This actually protects the meat from the acidity of the other ingredients so it is very important to add the milk first. Then, add the wine, tomato paste, and hand crush in the tomatoes from the tin. Add half of the tomato sauce from the tin, but set aside the rest for later. Stir for a few minutes, and then add in the fresh herbs. Season with salt, pepper, and a bit of chili pepper and then simmer this over medium heat for about 30-45 minutes until thick. When almost done, stir in the red peppers.

Best Ever Lasagna (Lasagne) Recipe Best Ever Lasagna (Lasagne) Recipe

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. When the meat sauce is almost ready, you can now prepare the béchamel sauce. Melt the butter in a separate saucepan and then whisk in the flour until very smooth over medium heat. Keep stirring for about6 minutes until the mixture turns golden. Then, bring the 3 cups of milk to a boil in a separate small pot. Add a bit of milk at a time to the butter mixture, whisking the sauce each time to keep it very smooth. When you’ve used all the milk, you’ll want to bring the sauce to a boil, and then turn off the heat and stir in the nutmeg, salt, pepper, and chili pepper for another minute or so. Set this aside off the hot burner.

Best Ever Lasagna (Lasagne) Recipe Best Ever Lasagna (Lasagne) Recipe

5. Yay, time to assemble everything! Grease the 9×13 pan with butter. Quickly douse the fresh pasta in cold water and gently squeeze off the excess liquid. Now cover the bottom of the pan with the meat sauce, layer the pasta, then pour half the béchamel mixture in and spread it out. Sprinkle half the parmesan over it, then layer the zucchini in rounds over it. Layer another pasta, then meat sauce, then pasta layer. Now for the last layer: Spread the rest of the meat sauce (should be fairly thin now), then the rest of the béchamel sauce, the rest of the parmesan… now place a couple bocconcini slices around the pan (approx one per “serving” of lasagne), and spread the rest of the grated mozzarella over the entire dish. Lastly, grind a very small amount of salt, and a regular dose of freshly ground pepper over the dish. It’s important to make sure that each layer of pasta is fully covered so that it cooks properly.

Best Ever Lasagna (Lasagne) Recipe

6. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes, but watch carefully and make sure the top is golden brown. Make sure you let the lasagne cool for about 20 minutes before serving.

Best Ever Lasagna (Lasagne) Recipe

Best Ever Lasagna (Lasagne) Recipe

7. DIG IN! It’s amazing :)

FREE TIME & COOKING

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

One of the best parts of looking for a job at the moment is having a couple spare moments to go grocery shopping and cook meals. I generally cook quite frequently, but the free time is allowing me to be a bit more creative with my meals. Despite being so busy lately that I haven’t even had a chance to sit down for longer than a couple minutes, I find myself always trying to at least make time to cook a nice dinner from scratch. I generally don’t make anything too fancy. My motto is quick to make, simple and tasty! :) And always using fresh local organic ingredients.

Panko and Pecan Encrusted Halibut

Above is the Panko and Pecan Encrusted Halibut I made last night. The crust has olive oil seasoned with ginger and green onions, a little chopped habanero pepper in the crust, and it is topped with fresh tomatoes over a bed of garlic ginger broccoli and served with yukon gold nugget potatoes. On a side note, the halibut was previously frozen but it is actually the halibut we caught when we went deep sea fishing in Tofino last summer.

Heart Attack on a Plate

Here’s what I call “The Meat Lovers Kitchen Sink“. This is definitely Allan’s favourite. It features 3 kinds of organic meats: bacon, pancetta, and chorizo sausage. The sauce is a homemade spicy tomato sauce and there’s a number of vegetables in there, including zucchini and peppers. The noodle there is a fresh tagliatelle pasta from Granville Island.

Tandoori Chicken and Green Curry Vegetables

Here is my Tandoori Chicken with Green Curry Vegetables. I always try to find a way to make sure there is a large serving of vegetables with every meal, and curry sauce is one of the best ways to include them! The Tandoori Chicken is marinated and basted with coconut milk, lime juice, garlic, cumin, coriander, pepper, saffron and an indian blend of chilis and spices.

Pappardelle Alfredo with Bacon

This is called “Heart Attack on a Plate“. Yummy big fresh pappardelle noodles served in an alfredo sauce made with heavy cream, parmigiano reggiano, and green onions. Mixed with my favourite of course… LOTS of double smoked bacon, and some spinach, mushrooms, and asparagas.

—–

On a non-food note, I’ve been enjoying Twitter very much lately. Just to clarify, I’m not planning on using this account for work purposes or anything, it’s just a life feed from yours truly when I’m in between blogging. :) http://twitter.com/VancityAllie

I’ll be posting photos/videos from the trip this past weekend to Sun Peaks. Also, this coming weekend I’ll be doing a little Valentine’s stint in Victoria and then up to Courtenay for the snowboarding trip to Mount Washington every year with Allan’s friends.

[Valid RSS]
Search
About This Blog

My Picture

This the blog of a 28 year-old Vancouver girl who loves and writes about everything “Vancouver” and West Coast. This is the blog of a girl who works in Vancouver's video game industry, it's also a surfing blog, snowboarding blog, food blog, Canucks blog, gadget blog, and photography blog. VancityAllie.com is an award-winning blog that receives over 2.7M unique visitors every year and over 4,500 followers on Twitter. VancityAllie.com has been featured in books, newspapers, magazines, and television.

Recent Comments
  • OHM: Your wedding looked like so much fun! I love all the little touches....
  • Cathy: Wow — amazing photos! I love how outdoorsy you got with your...
  • Denise Chavez: The decor is beautiful!!
  • JonIchinomiya: I luuuuuv this beach! I used to surf it ever weekend for about...
  • T.: Great pics! Congrats! What a lovely wedding.
  • Elsa: wow, your wedding was BEAUTIFUL :D the pictures are AMAZING but I think...
  • Hokkaido Shred: You surfed in your wedding dress?! OUT. OF. CONTROL. I like...
  • Lais: Congrats! Love your wedding pictures. It really look like you had an...
  • johnyrobertsmith: Great shots, Allie! You both look great in the pictures...
  • Jennifer Findlay: Hi Allie…tho se are absolutely stunning photos. You...
Twitter Updates

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter