Tuscan style Lasagna from San Frediano

Tuscan style Lasagna from San Frediano


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • pinch nutmeg, optional
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound fresh porcini, portobello or oyster mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 pound prosciutto, cut into thin strips
  • 3/4 pound ground veal
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • White Lasagna Noodles
  • Green Lasagna Noodles
  • 1 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


(Lasagne di San Frediano). Melt butter over medium heat in saucepan. Add flour, salt and pepper and whisk constantly 2 minutes. Slowly pour in hot milk off heat, whisking vigorously. Once all milk is added, reduce heat to low and simmer 12 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with nutmeg and add more salt and pepper to taste. Heat olive oil in casserole with 2 tablespoons butter. Once butter has melted, saute onion and garlic over medium heat until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes, stirring frequently so garlic doesn't burn. Increase heat to high, add mushrooms and mix well. Pour in wine and continue cooking while wine evaporates, about 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add beef broth. Cook 15 minutes. Set aside. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium heat and saute prosciutto 10 minutes. Add veal and brown, about 4 minutes, breaking meat up with wooden spoon. Salt and pepper to taste, being careful with salt, since prosciutto is salty. When mushrooms are done cooking, transfer veal mixture to mushroom casserole and cook 15 minutes. Mixture should be moist but not sauce-like. If too dry, add water to correct consistency. Bring large pot of water to rolling boil. Salt abundantly and gradually drop in white and green Lasagna Noodles. Drain when half cooked and transfer to pot of cold water until needed. Dry lasagna before using. Butter lasagna baking pan with 1 tablespoon butter and cover bottom with White Lasagna. Spoon some of mushroom mixture over lasagna and cover with sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano (reserve 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano for final layer) and layer of Green Lasagna. Continue in this order, finishing with layer of Green Lasagna. Cover with Salsa Besciamella, layering up to 1/4 inch thick and reserving rest, if any, for another use. Sprinkle on remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano and dot with remaining butter. Bake at 400 degrees until top is speckled brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Makes 8 servings. LASAGNA NOODLES 2 cups flour 2 eggs 3/4 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons olive oil, optional 2 to 3 teaspoons water Flour for dusting To make lasagna by hand: Pour flour onto work surface. Make well in middle, piling up flour to resemble walls of volcanic crater. Break eggs into well, add salt and drizzle in olive oil. Break yolks with your fingers and begin to incorporate eggs with flour little at time, with your fingers, drawing more flour from inside wall of crater. Make sure you don't break through wall or eggs will run. Scrape off any dough on your fingers and knead into dough. Once flour and eggs are combined into ball, knead 8 to 10 minutes. As you press down while kneading, use ball to pick up any loose clumps of dough. Don't add any liquid until you've kneaded for at least 3 minutes. If dough is too dry at this point and you must add water, do so only by wetting your hands, as many times as you need. If dough is too wet--meaning if there is any sign of stickiness--dust with flour. Continue kneading, pressing down with full force of both palms, until smooth ball is formed. Wrap dough in wax paper or plastic wrap and set aside 30 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature. Unwrap the ball of dough and dust with flour. Place on floured surface, pressing down with your palms to flatten. With rolling pin, roll pasta out until about 12 inches in diameter and cut into thirds. Roll each third with rolling pin until thin enough to fit into widest setting of pasta-rolling machine. Roll once at widest setting. Tighten setting one notch and roll again. Gather sheet of pasta, fold in thirds, and roll through roller so to make nice rectangle. Continue ratcheting down setting until dough is thin as possible. Dust dough on both sides with flour at slightest sign of stickiness. If necessary, continue to dust with flour while rolling through narrower and narrower settings; otherwise dough will become hopelessly stuck together. By now, you will have very long thin sheet of pliable dough that looks and feels like velvety chamois cloth. Cut ribbon into 6- to 12-inch lengths, 2 to 5 inches wide. Sprinkle some flour in large baking tray and dust each length of cut lasagna on both sides with flour. Let rest in airy place on paper towels, white kitchen towels, or a white sheet reserved for this purpose 1 to 2 hours before cooking, refrigerating or freezing. Leave for 48 hours for completely dry pasta. To make noodles with food processor: Combine flour, eggs, salt and olive oil, if desired, in work bowl. Pulse to combine. With machine running, add water, little at time, until mixture forms ball that gathers on top of food processor blade. Continue running 1 to 2 minutes to knead dough. Remove from food processor and gather any stray bits of dough in bottom of work bowl into ball. Flatten into disk, wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and set aside to rest 30 minutes to 1 hour. Roll out as described. Variation: To make Green Lasagna, briefly cook 1/2 pound finely chopped spinach, Swiss chard or beet greens. Squeeze dry and add to egg mixture. Do not add water. Makes enough pasta for 4 lasagna servings.

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