This is the traditional variation made in Modena of the classic baked lasagne, the great speciality of Emilia-Romagna. It is usually made with spinach pasta, but plain egg pasta or even dried egg lasagne can be used instead. However, I advise you to spare the time to make your own pasta. The final result is undoubtedly worth the trouble. If you use the dried lasagne that do not need precooking (which I do not recommend), you will have to make the ragù more liquid and bake the dish for 1 hour.
Heat half the butter in a frying pan and gently sauté the onion, carrot, celery and garlic for about 10–15 minutes, until the vegetables have softened. Throw in the mushrooms and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt.
In a separate saucepan, heat the oil and fry the pancetta for 2 minutes. Add the pork and beef and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat with a fork. When the meat is browned all over, pour in the wine and boil until about half has evaporated. Mix in the diluted tomato purée and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the parsley and thyme and then scoop all the fried vegetables and their juices into the meat sauce. Season with salt and pepper, mix thoroughly and cook, uncovered, over very low heat for about 1½–2 hours. Keep an eye on the ragù and add 2 or 3 tablespoons of hot milk whenever the ragù gets too dry. It is impossible to say exactly how much milk you will need: this depends on, among other things, the heat and the pan you are using.
To make the lasagne, follow the instructions here, cutting the dough into rectangles measuring about
To assemble the dish, spread 2–3 tablespoons of the béchamel over the bottom of a
Melt the remaining butter, pour it over the lasagne and bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is golden. Take the dish out of the oven and leave to rest for 2–3 minutes before serving.
© 2015 All rights reserved. Published by Pavilion.