Saturday, 2 October 2010

Michael Symon's Mom's Lasagna

Michael Symon is a good Cleveland boy who loves his mom. And his mom's lasagna. It's not hard to figure out why; it is hearty, meaty, and full of great flavour. Lasagna is a labour of love. Especially if you also make your own pasta and ricotta.. but you will have lots of leftovers and should be able to take the next night off. Also, it is imperative that you drink wine while you make lasagna. Red wine. And play Andrea Bocelli in the background. And sing along. Loud. You may want to close the windows to spare your neighbours. Your choice. Of course you could always invite said neighbours and feed them wine and lasagna until they sing along. Michael Symon would.

Michael Symon's Mom's Lasagna
food network, for Symon Sundays with Ashlee


    * 1/2 cup olive oil
    * 1 onion, diced
    * 4 garlic cloves, minced *I used 8
    * Pinch kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    * 1 pound pork neck bones *omitted
    * 1 pound ground veal
    * 1 pound ground beef *I used all beef
    * 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, loose or removed from casings
    * 1/2 cup dry white wine
    * 1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes, with their juice
    * 2 bay leaves
    * 1 pound dried lasagna noodles *I used fresh
    * 2 pounds whole milk ricotta cheese *I used homemade
    * 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    * 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
    * 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano leaves
    * 2 large eggs
    * 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for final topping
    * 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, grated


In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a three-finger pinch of salt and sweat them until they're translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the neck bones and let them brown, about 5 minutes. Add the ground veal, beef and sausage, and season with another healthy pinch of salt. Cook until the meat is browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the white wine, tomatoes and their juice, and the bay leaves. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, making sure to get all of the browned bits into the sauce. Season the sauce with salt, to taste, and simmer for 2 hours over medium heat. Remove the bay leaves and neck bones and let cool. Skim any fat that rises to the surface.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Add enough salt so that it tastes seasoned and allow the water to return to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until al dente. Drain well and set aside.

In a medium bowl mix together the ricotta, parsley, basil, oregano, eggs, and Parmesan with a pinch of salt.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Ladle about 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of a lasagna pan. Arrange a layer of noodles followed by a layer of sauce and then some of the ricotta mixture. Top with a layer of mozzarella, smoothing it with a spatula to the edges. Repeat the process until the pan is full. Finish with a final layer of noodles, sauce, the mozzarella, and Parmesan.

Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest, 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Red Wine Vinaigrette
Because you need a good salad with your lasagna. I used spinach, cukes, tomatoes, green onion and topped with grated Parm. 
adapted from Live to Cook, Michael Symon
makes about 1½ cups

1 tbsp minced shallots
1 tsp minced garlic
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ tsp kosher salt
1¼ cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chopped toasted almonds
1 tsp diced, seeded, fresno chile pepper
2 tbsp fresh mint, sliced

Combine the shallot, garlic, vinegar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in a few drops of the oil and then begin adding the oil in a thin  stream, whisking continuously. After all the oil has been incorporated, whisk in he almonds, pepper, and mint.