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Lasagne Verdi Al Forno

2 tbsp. Butter
4 6-inch-by-22-inch sheets spinach pasta
5 cups Bolognese meat sauce
1 cup freshly grated parmiginao-reggiano
2 cups bechamel sauce

Set oven rack in top third of oven, then preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Grease 9x12 baking dish with butter and set aside. Bring a large
pot of water to a boil over high heat and add 2 generous pinches
of salt. Cook 1 sheet of pasta at a time until it floats to surface,
about 10 seconds. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon and plunge
into large bowl of salted ice water to stop cooking. Remove from
water when cool. Lay sheets out, being careful not to let them
touch, on clean damp kitchen towels and cover with more damp towels.

Line bottom of prepared baking dish with a layer of pasta, trimming
sheets with a knife so that they fit in one even layer (patching
if need be). Spread evenly about 1 cup of the meat suace, thensprinkle
lightly with some of the parmigiano. Add another layer of pasta,
even spread 1 cup of the bechamel sauce on pasta, then sprinkle
lightly with parmigiano. Repeat layers (you should have 3 layers
of meat and 2 of bechamel, ending with meat sauce and parmigiano.
Reserve any extra meat sauce for another use.

Bake lasagne for 10 minutes, increase oven temp to 500 degrees and
cook until lasagne is bubbling around edges and browned on top,
5-7 minutes more. Do not overcook. Allow lasagne ot rest for 8-10
minutes before serving.

Ragu alla bolognese
Makes about 5 cups

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and minced
1 rib celery, trimmed and minced
1/2 medium carrot peeled, trimmed and minced
2-3 slices prosciutto (about 1 ounce) finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck beef
2 chicken livers, finely chopped
salt and fresh ground black peppers
1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
1 cup hot milk
1 cup beef, veal or chicken broth
1 28 ounce can of Italian plum tomato puree

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onions and
cook, stirring frequently until soft and translucent but not
browned, about 3 minutes. Add celery and carrots and cook,
stirring frequently, for 3 more minutes. Add prosciutto and
chicken livers and cook, stirring until livers are just
cooked and still little pink, about 1 minute. Add ground
chuck, season to taste with salt and pepper and cook,
breaking up meat with back of spoon, until just cooked and
still a bit pink, about 5 more minutes (to keep meat tender,
do not fry or brown)

Add wine to pot and cook, stirring until it has evaporated,
about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low, add hot milk
and cook, stirring occasionally until milk has evaporated
about 10 minutes (this is what adds the richness).

Meanwhile hat broth and tomato puree in sauce pan until hot,
then add to meat mixture in pot. Reduce heat to low and
gently simmer, stirring occasionally for 2 \xbd hours. Season
to taste with salt and pepper.


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