Chef Tom cooks up a lasagna from scratch starting with homemade noodles, meat sauce, and a bechamel before layering it all together and baking it with a blend of two cheeses.
Homemade Lasagna Recipe
Yield: 12 servings
For the red sauce:
- 1/2 lb pancetta, diced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 lb Italian sausage
- 1 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
- 3/4 cup carrot, diced
- 3/4 cup celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 (28 oz) cans whole tomatoes
- 1-2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
- For the béchamel:
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 6 tbsp all purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- Cattleman’s Grill Italiano Seasoning
- For the pasta dough:
- 10 oz Caputo Semola Di Grano Duro Rimacinata flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 8 oz parmigiano reggiano
- 4 oz sharp provolone
To make the pasta dough, turn the Caputo Semola flour out onto your work surface in a mound. Create a well in the mound and crack your eggs into the well. Sprinkle the salt over the eggs. Mix the eggs using a fork, slowly incorporating a little of the flour from the edges while mixing. When the egg mixture begins to hold a form, use a bench knife/dough scraper to toss and chop together the flour and egg mixture to incorporate all the flour. Then, using your hands, work the dough into a ball. Knead the dough, dusting with flour to prevent sticking, as needed, until the dough is worked to the point where it wants to pull back and contract when touched. Wrap in plastic wrap and place the refrigerator and rest for at least half an hour.
When the dough is rested, divide into four portions. Roll each portion out until it is thin enough to pass through the largest setting on your pasta roller (0). Pass the dough through the roller twice at each setting, before moving to the next smallest notch. Continue until you’ve made two passes at #5, or your preferred thickness. Flour the pasta to prevent sticking and stack on a sheet pan separating the layers with parchment paper. Store in the refrigerator until ready to cook the noodles.
When ready to cook the noodles, place the noodles in a pot of boiling water and cook until just tender. The noodles should still have a little bite to them. Lay out on an oiled sheet pan. Be sure to oil the noodles so they don’t stick to one another.
To make the red sauce, combine the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a food processor and process until very fine. Set aside. In a Lodge 12” cast iron skillet, over medium/high heat, sear and render the fat from the diced pancetta. When browned and the fat begins to render out, add the ground beef, Italian sausage and processed vegetables. Brown the meats.
When the meats are browned, add the white wine. Cook until nearly all the way reduced. Then, add the milk. Again, cook until almost completely reduced. Add the canned tomatoes. Cook to reduce just enough to add one cup of chicken stock, about 10 minutes. Add one cup of chicken stock and let simmer at least 30 minutes, until thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed. Just before assembling the lasagna, add the parsley and stir to incorporate.
To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a Lodge 12” cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until the flour just begins to darken, and takes on the appearance of wet sand. Then, slowly add the warmed milk to the skillet, about 1/2 cup at a time, whisking constantly until all of the milk is incorporated. Season with Cattleman’s Grill Italiano Seasoning. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes until the sauce is thickened. Set aside.
To assemble the lasagna, spread a thin layer of the béchamel sauce across the bottom of a casserole dish. Then place your lasagna noodles over the sauce to cover the entire surface. Spread a layer of the red sauce over the noodles, and sprinkle the cheeses over the red sauce. Repeat this process at least two more times, more if you have more ingredients to use up. Top the lasagna with the last of the red sauce and the last of the cheeses.
Bake the lasagna on the second shelf of your Yoder Smokers YS640 pellet grill at 400ºF, for about 45 minutes, or until the top is browned, the edges are crisp and the filling is bubbling. Cool slightly before slicing to serve.