This is the classic lasagna of northern Italy: lasagna
noodles separated by layers of full-flavored meat sauce,
rich béchamel sauce, and a blend of cheeses. Here dried
porcini mushrooms give additional flavor to the meat
sauce without much effort.
1⁄2 cup boiling water
1⁄2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (about 1⁄2 cup)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 large onion (12 ounces), chopped
8 ounces lean (90%) ground beef
8 ounces ground pork
8 ounces ground veal
1⁄2 cup dry red wine
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
21⁄2 cups milk
8 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded (2 cups)
1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 package (8 to 9 ounces) no-boil lasagna noodles
(61⁄2” by 31⁄2” each)
1. Prepare meat sauce: In small bowl, pour boiling
water over porcini mushrooms; let stand 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet, heat oil over
medium heat until hot. Add garlic, carrots, and onion
and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender,
about 15 minutes. Increase heat to high. Add beef,
pork, and veal and cook, breaking up meat with side of
spoon, until meat is browned, about 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, with slotted spoon, remove porcini,
reserving liquid. Rinse mushrooms to remove any grit,
then coarsely chop. Strain mushroom liquid through
sieve lined with paper towels; set aside.
4. Add wine to meat in skillet and heat to boiling;
boil until most of liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes with their juice, salt, mushrooms, and
reserved soaking liquid; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to
medium-low; simmer, uncovered, until sauce thickens
slightly, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Preheat oven to 375°F. Meanwhile, prepare
béchamel sauce: In nonreactive 2-quart saucepan, melt
butter over medium heat. With wire whisk, stir in
flour, pepper, salt, and nutmeg and cook 1 minute.
Whisking continuously, gradually add milk and heat to
boiling. Remove saucepan from heat; set aside.
6. Prepare filling: In small bowl, toss Fontina and
Parmesan until well combined.
7. Assemble lasagna: In bottom of 13" by 9" baking
dish, evenly spread 1 cup meat sauce. Arrange 4 noodles
over sauce, overlapping slightly to fit and making
sure they do not touch sides of dish. (If your package
of lasagna noodles has only 12 noodles, use 3 noodles
per layer and do not overlap them.) Spoon about
11⁄2 cups meat sauce over noodles. Spread about 2⁄3 cup
béchamel sauce over meat sauce and sprinkle with
about 1⁄2 cup cheese filling. Repeat layering 3 more
times with remaining noodles, meat sauce, béchamel
sauce, and cheese.
8. Cover lasagna with foil and bake 30 minutes.
Remove foil and bake until heated through and cheese
is lightly browned, about 20 minutes longer. Let stand
15 minutes for easier serving. Makes 10 main-dish
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