Clay's Kitchen : Ricette Italiane (Italian Recipes)

Ricette Italiane (Italian Recipes)

© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <clay@panix.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA

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Lasagna, an old Sicilian recipe

Recipe from: weckle
Servings: 12

Chicken and pork is cooked in a tomato sauce, shredded and returned to the sauce for a great flavor. The lasagna noodles are layered with the hearty meat sauce, seasoned ricotta cheese, mozzarella and grated Parmesan.

1 whole chicken, about 3 to 4 pounds, cut into 8 parts
3 or 4 meaty country pork ribs
10 ounces mushrooms chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion chopped
4 cloves garlic sliced
3 cans tomatoes 28 ounces each
1 can tomato paste 6 ounces
6 to 12 ounces water
6 tablespoons fresh basil leaves chopped
6 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
1 container whole milk ricotta 2 pounds
1 ball of fresh mozzarella sliced
1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese
2 pounds of lasagna noodles
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In a large non-stick skillet, using 1½ tablespoons oil, over medium high heat, brown chicken and pork and set aside. Use the same skillet and with ½ tablespoon oil, fry the mushrooms and set aside.

In a Dutch oven, using remaining tablespoon of oil, sauté the onion until soft and tender, about 6 to 8 minutes then add garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add tomatoes (crushing with your hand while in the can), tomato paste, water, (how much water you will need will depend on the type of canned tomatoes used. If packed in tomato juice or tomato purée) the browned meats, salt and pepper.

Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for one and a half hours.

Remove the cooked meats from the sauce and place in a large bowl to cool for easier handling. Remove skin and bones from chicken and discard. Remove and discard bones from pork, and using two forks or hands shred the chicken and pork. Return the shredded meat to the sauce and add reserved mushrooms. Add 4 tablespoons each of basil and parsley to the sauce. Stir and adjust salt and pepper seasoning. The sauce may be made a day or two in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

To construct the lasagna casserole, prepare all of the components so that the layers are easy to build. Boil the noodles for 10 minutes or as directed on the box. Drain the pasta noodles and fill the pot with cold water to stop further cooking and prevent noodles from sticking together while preparing the other components. Put ricotta cheese in a bowl, stir in remaining 2 tablespoons each of basil and parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Bring meat sauce to room temperature for easier spreading consistency.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In two deep casserole dishes or roasting pans, begin layering with a little sauce on the bottom, to prevent sticking. Layer noodles, sauce, ricotta cheese, mozzarella, and grated cheese, in that order. Make about three or four layers in each pan. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes covered and then remove cover and bake for 20 minutes more until bubbly and top is browned.

Do not use oven ready lasagna noodle for this recipe. The meat sauce is too hearty to be supported by the thinner noodles.

This recipe may easily be cut in half. I find it easier to make the full amount and freeze any leftovers. Lasagna freezes well.


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