Frankie Yale's ex-wife
Ingredients for 6 portions:
• 2 medium carrots
• 2 medium onions
• 2 celery stalks
• 750 gr of chipolatas
• 350 ml of white wine
• 250 ml of vegetable stock
• 350 gr of chestnut mushrooms
• 500 gr of egg lasagne sheets
• 100 gr of grated parmesan cheese
• 100 gr of grated pecorino cheese
• 3 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
For the béchamel sauce:
• 100 gr of butter
• 100 gr of “00” flour
• 1 litre of milk
• Salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
1. Remove the sausage meat from its skin, put in a bowl and mash roughly with a fork. Finely chop the onions, celery and carrots. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then add the chopped vegetables and let cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes.
2. Add the sausages and brown them evenly, add the wine and let cook on a low heat for at least two hours, stirring occasionally. If the ragù becomes too dry, add a ladleful of vegetable stock every time it’s needed.
3. Clean and slice the mushrooms. Add them to the meat the last 15 minutes of cooking. Add some more stock if necessary. Stir well. Season lightly if needed (keep it conservative, as the ragù is already quite savoury due to the seasoning in the sausages). Once cooked, cover and set aside in a warm place.
4. Prepare the béchamel. Melt the butter in a saucepan on low heat, add the flour and stir well. Keep cooking for a couple of minutes, always stirring, then add a little milk at the time, incorporating it well into the roux before adding some more. Once all the milk has been added, raise the heat to medium, and stir until the sauce has thickened. Season with little salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cover and set aside in a warm place.
5. Prepare the lasagne sheets: even though it might be indicated on the package not to pre-cook them, I do advice to cook them in boiling salted water (about 9 minutes for dried lasagne and a couple of minutes for the fresh lasagne). This is because the sauce used to season the lasagne is rarely watery enough to cook them thoroughly, and you will end up with uncooked, hard pasta that will ruin your lunch experience. Be careful not to overlap the cooked sheets, otherwise they will glue together making it impossible to handle them.
6. Preheat the oven at 170˚C/ gas mark 3. Take an oven dish of roughly 30cmx23cm. Spread a little béchamel sauce over the bottom. Cover with a layer of lasagne, then evenly spoon a third of the ragù over it, drizzle some béchamel sauce over, finally sprinkle it with the mixed grated cheese. Keep layering this way –lasagne, ragù, béchamel and grated cheese (you should get three layers) - until all the ingredients are finished. Terminate with a layer of lasagne, the béchamel and plenty of grated cheese. Put it in the oven and cook for 60 minutes.
7. Take the lasagne out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.