Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I'm Strong to the Finich, Cause I Eats Me Spinach......

Giada gets me in trouble...

Yeah, that's right... I blame this recipe on her. I was watching "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" on the Food Network, and she was talking about this Lasagne Verde. Yeah, Lasagne... so you know that grabbed my attention.

Evidently there is this restaurant down in L.A. called Angelini Osteria that serves a Green Lasagne made with a Veal & Beef Ragú and Spinach Pasta all bound together with Béchamel and Parmigiano-Reggiano. HOLY COW! As if that wasn't decadence on a plate already. Then the whole thing is topped off with Deep Fried Spinach. Awesome!!!

I HAD to have some. But not feeling like making a 15 hour trip by car, I decided to just try and make it myself. I mean, I make a Beef and Veal Ragú to serve over pasta, the funny part is that I like to serve it over Spinach fettuccine.

I have made spinach pasta many times and Lord knows I know how to make Béchamel, since it is key to my own "Lasagne alla Svizzero/Garfield" as well as Mornay sauce for Hash Pinwheels and Spinach à la Florentine. So, this is what I came up with.

OK, I left off the deep fried spinach, cause I think the lasagne is already fattening enough since I used a whole pound of Parmigiano-Reggiano when layering it. LOL

This is gonna be a Loooooooooong post. If I had not been such a masochist, I would have separated the Ragú and the Spinach Pasta into individual posts and then brought everything together in a third. But I was actually preparing all three simultaneously, so I just decided to edit all 71 photos and make one rather lengthy post to show the work flow. :)

After all, Lasagne is SERIOUS business. LOL

Lasagne Verde


Ragú di Manzo y Vitello

1/2 cup (28 g) Dried Porcini
2 cups (473 ml) Warm Water
1 lb (453 g) Boneless Beef Chuck
1 lb (453 g) Ground Veal
6 TB Unsalted Butter
3 Shallots, diced
2 Celery Ribs, diced
2 Carrots, diced
4 TB Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley, finely chopped
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
2 TB AP Flour
3/4 cup (177 ml) Veal Stock
2/3 cup (155 ml) Sauvignon Blanc
Kosher Salt and Pepper
3 1-inch chunks of Lemon Zest, no pith

Lasagne di Spinaci (Spinach Pasta)
5 oz (141 g) Raw Spinach (though you can use frozen)
1 3/4 cup (219 g) AP Flour
1/2 cup (60 g) Semolina
1 tsp Salt
3 Large Eggs
1 TB Olive oil

Béchamel
6 TB Butter
6 TB AP Flour
pinch of Salt
3 cups Whole Milk
pinch of Nutmeg
pinch of White Pepper

For Layering
2 14.5-oz (411 g) cans of diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes (to stir into the Ragú, when it is finished)
1 TB Unsalted Butter, to rub the pan down
1 lb (453 g) Parmigiano-Reggiano, shredded

First you need to make the Ragú, cause it will have to simmer for 2 1/2 hours, so lets recap on the ingredient list for the Ragú.

1/2 cup (28 g) Dried Porcini
2 cups (473 ml) Warm Water
1 lb (453 g) Boneless Beef Chuck
1 lb (453 g) Ground Veal
6 TB Unsalted Butter
3 Shallots, diced
2 Celery Ribs, diced
2 Carrots, diced
4 TB Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley, finely chopped
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
2 TB AP Flour
3/4 cup (177 ml) Veal Stock
2/3 cup (155 ml) Sauvignon Blanc
Kosher Salt and Pepper
3 1-inch chunks of Lemon Zest, no pith

Soak the dried porcini in 2 cups warm water for 30 minutes.

While the porcini are soaking, go ahead and prepare you vegetables...

And cut the beef into 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) chunks.

Begin heating the butter over low heat.

Remove the porcini from the liquid and squeeze them as dry as possible.

Then chop them.

Add the Shallot, Celery, Carrot and Porcini to the pan and sweat them all.

Strain the mushroom liquid through a paper towel set in a strainer (I was out of cheese cloth)

Cause you want to remove any possible sandy grit.

To the mushroom liquid, add the Veal stock

Then add the Sauvignon Blanc.

Add the Parsley to the sweating vegetables and mix thoroughly.

Add both the chopped Beef Chuck and the Ground veal to the pan.

Increase heat and saute until brown, then add the Flour and the Clove, tossing to coat the ingredients in the pan.

Pour in the Stock/Wine mixture, then season with a little kosher salt and Pepper.

Add the Strips of Lemon Zest,

then bring to a simmer.

Cover, reduce heat to the lowest possible temperature and simmer for 2 hours stirring occasionally.

After the first hour is up, remove the Lemon Zest, cause it's spent by this time.

You can also begin making the Spinach Pasta. (I went outside and roasted some Tanzanian Coffee in my Air Popper while I was waiting the first hour) LOL

5 oz (141 g) Raw Spinach (though you can use frozen)
1 3/4 cup (219 g) AP Flour
1/2 cup (60 g) Semolina
1 tsp Salt
3 Large Eggs
1 TB Olive oil

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

Drop the Spinach and cook for 10 minutes, until tender.

Drain and allow to cool.

Meanwhile combine the AP Flour, Salt and Semolina in a small bowl, then dump it onto the counter, creating a well in the center.

Squeeze out as much water out of the spinach as possible.

Toss in a food processor with 1 egg and puree.

Once you have a fairly smooth puree, go ahead and add the remaining 2 eggs and the olive oil;

then puree again until nice and smooth.

Pour the Spinach puree into the well.

Begin stirring with your fingers, gradually, until eventually.....

you will have a soft dough.

Begin kneading the pasta to incorporate the remaining flour,

Until a smooth elastic dough is formed.

Wrap in plastic wrap and let set for 30 minutes or longer.

If the Ragú is at the 2 hour mark, you can remove the lid and let more moisture evaporate until it is fairly thick. About another 30-45 minutes.

While the dough is resting, make the Béchamel.

6 TB Butter
6 TB AP Flour
pinch of Salt
3 cups Whole Milk
pinch of Nutmeg
pinch of White Pepper

Melt butter in a saucepan, then add the flour.

Whisk until the roux is bubbly.

While whisking constantly, add the milk to the roux.

Cook until the Béchamel is thick and bubbly.

Remove from the heat and add the Nutmeg and White Pepper.

Cover the Béchamel on the surface so it doesn't crust, then continue with the pasta.

Remove the Ragú from the heat and stir in the fire roasted tomatoes,

then set the Ragú aside to cool slightly.

Divide the pasta into 4 pieces.

Working with 1 piece at a time,

Wrap the other three in plastic.

Dust the pasta ball with a little flour.

Dust the roller as well.

Roll the first piece through the rollers, on the widest setting.

Fold it over and run it through again... Repeat this a couple of times to knead it well.

Continue rolling the pasta through the rollers, decreasing the width of the rollers each time,

until you have 1 long sheet. (I usually go to level 4 on the Kitchen Aid rollers for lasagne)

Cut the sheet to fit a 13x9 pan sprinkle with flour to keep them from sticking together, and cover with plastic while continuing with the remaining pasta.

Bringing it all together.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter your 13x9 lasagne pan. (the first commandment "Thou shalt always butter thine Lasagne Pan")

Spread 1/2 cup of the Béchamel over the bottom of the pan.

Lay down a layer of Spinach Pasta.

Spoon 1/3 of the Ragú over the pasta.

Spread 1 cup of the Béchamel over the Ragú.

Top with 4 oz of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Add another layer of Spinach Pasta.

Add 1/2 of the remaining Ragú.

Top with 4 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Lay down another layer of Spinach Pasta.

Spread the remaining Ragú.

Cover with 4 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese.

Lay down the last layer of spinach pasta and pour the remaining 1 1/2 cups of Béchamel over the pasta.

Sprinkle with the remaining 4 oz of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Place in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Just until the top becomes all nice, brown and bubbly; remove from the oven and let rest about 5-10 minutes.

Cut and serve...

OK, I will admit it, the deep fried spinach would have made for an awesome presentation. But after one bite, presentation didn't matter.... I was ready to bury my face in the pan, to heck with a plate man.

Mangia!!
~~

6 comments:

Spryte said...

OMG *DROOL*

That looks sooooo good!!!

Michele said...

That looks fantastic! I am so going to make this!

Bob said...

Wow, dude. Wow. Serious business indeed! Heh. Looks awesome, really makes me miss lasagna.

Fanmajie said...

That's amazing, looks awsome.

Danielle said...

I guess Giada just got me in trouble too and so did you! This is just one of those things that once it gets stuck in your brain you HAVE to have some!

Danielle said...

holy moly! If i can just buy the spinach pasta (cuz I don't have a pasta machine thingy)....then I will totally be making this! YUM!