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VBT Recipe: Andrea's Green Lasagna
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Culinary

VBT Recipe: Andrea's Green Lasagna

Posted on Thursday, December 17th, 2020

Story by: Andrea, VBT Trip Leader | Travel Writer


Check out VBT trip leader Andrea’s recipe for green lasagna below, and join him on our Italy: The Dolomites, Bolzano to Lake Garda and Italy: Valleys of the Dolomites tours to sample other local favorites!

Lasagna may be the first food that comes to mind when you think of Italy, but the dish is actually most strongly associated with the city of Bologna, which is the capital of Emilia-Romagna, one of the most renowned foodie areas in the country.

My father is a native of the plains area of Emilia, and my mother is originally from a little village located in the hills of Romagna. We all feel proudly 100% Bolognese, and for us lasagna is not only a delightful food, but a part of our cultural background and the history of our city. My mom has been nominated on multiple occasions by parents, friends, and guests as “The Lasagna Queen.”

Lasagna is the tradition meal of New Year’s Day in Bologna, although we also enjoy it year round. While there are no set rules for pairing a specific wine with the dish, it generally goes best with red. You might opt for a bubbly Lambrusco or a full-bodied Sangiovese, the red grape which is the foundation of Chianti and grows in abundance on the Romagna hills.  

VBT Recipe: Andrea's Green Lasagna 4
VBT Recipe: Andrea's Green Lasagna 2
Andrea 13
VBT Recipe: Andrea's Green Lasagna 3

Andrea’s Green Lasagna

This lasagna requires high-quality ingredients: fresh pasta, freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, and a meaty Bolognese are musts.

Makes: 8 servings

Active Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1½ hours

Equipment: clean white cotton or linen towel and 9×13-inch baking pan

Ingredients:

¾ cup softened butter, divided

2 pounds fresh spinach pasta or other fresh pasta

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2½ cups whole milk

2 teaspoons salt, divided

¼ teaspoon ground pepper

4 cups meaty Bolognese sauce, plus additional for serving

2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Method:

  1. To cook pasta, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Spread clean towel on work surface. Cut pasta into 4 by 6-inch rectangles. Add few rectangles at a time to boiling water; remove them with slotted spoon as soon as they rise to the top, run under cold water and let them dry on the cloth.
  2. To make bechamel sauce, heat ¼ cup butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Stir in flour. Turn the heat to low and cook, whisking until it thickens and darkens slightly, at least 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk a little at a time and continue whisking until thickened, 4 to 6 minutes more. Whisk in salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 9×13-inch baking pan with ¼ cup butter.
  4. To assemble lasagna, cut remaining ¼ cup butter into small cubes. Spread ¼ cup each bechamel sauce and Bolognese in the pan. Add a layer of noodles, touching but not overlapping. Spread a thin layer of bechamel sauce, then Bolognese, Parmigiano Reggiano, and some cubes of remaining butter. Try to make at least 6 layers, ending by covering with a layer of pasta and topping with Bolognese, bechamel and sprinkle of cheese. Place a small cube of butter at the corners.
  5. Bake the lasagna until lightly browned and bubbling, 25 to 35 minutes. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Category: Main Dish

Region and Country of Origin: Italy

 

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