One of my all time favorite dishes is lasagna. My mom, in my opinion, makes the best lasagna. My mom used to make lasagna with chicken giblets, very traditional where I grew up, to the ripe old age of 10, in Oderzo, Italy. She still makes it with chicken giblets when she can but it's harder to find giblets today, not sure why because every chicken has giblets, wonder where they go? My mom also makes her lasagna with bachamel sauce, not ricotta and she only uses parmigiano, no other cheese is added.
I'm making lasagna today. I don't have giblets so it will be made with beef but you can use any type of meat, sausage or poultry. Every little town in Italy has their own sauce so you might as well make it your own to. In addition to the homemade meat sauce I'm also making home made pasta and bread.
On tonight's menu:
Home made bread
From my backyard I'll be using tomatoes, celery, butter lettuce, arugula and eggs. I purchased carrots, onions, basil, cheese, flour,garlic, milk, salt, pepper, vinegar and olive oil.
I'll be posting all the steps to making homemade lasagna throughout the week but today we start with the meat sauce.
In a large saucepan saute one finely chopped medium onion, carrot and celery stalk in some olive oil, add two large cloves of garlic, chopped.
Saute until the veggies are tender but do not brown.
Add 2 lbs of ground beef and saute on medium high heat, trying to brown the meat but not burn the veggies. Add about 4 cups of tomato sauce, salt, pepper and 1-2 tbls basil if dry. If you are using fresh basil add it towards the end of the cooking process to keep the flavour fresh.
Simmer the sauce for about two hours stirring occasionally. You are trying to thicken the sauce by cooking out some of the liquid. If it's not reducing take the lid off your pot.
After simmering for two hours the finished sauce should be thick and well seasoned, let it cool lightly, you don't want to get scalded as you put your lasagna together.