Lasagna with Ricotta,

Chopped Meat & Sausages

 

Lasagna con Ricotta, Carne & Salsiccia

 

The lasagna with ricotta and ragu’ is a popular dish particularly prepared on holidays in the Southern part of Italy and in the islands. 

It is a delicious dish made with ricotta, pork sausages and chopped meat, stewed in tomato sauce.


The ragu’ is a sauce that has the taste of meat and mostly used as a pasta condiment. The word “ragu” is adapted from the French ragout or ragouter meaning to tease the appetite.
Ragu’ sauce is made all over
 Italy and it varies from region to region and to be more specific from family to family.
In Northern Italy the famous Bolognese sauce is basically made with chopped meat, onions, carrots, celery and such a small amount of tomato paste that it is hardly detectable. Outside
 Bologna, and going south, the amount of tomato paste and fresh or canned tomato increases in the ragu’ sauce and it becomes redder the further south of Italy you go.  

 

In Palermo the ragu’ sauce is a tomato sauce where sausages, chopped meat, bruciolone which is rolled stuffed beef, spareribs, pork’s skin and other cuts of meat are added to enhance the taste.

 

 

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients 

 

 

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil   
  • 1 large minced onion   
  • 1 lb. sausage, without the skin    
  • 1 lb. chopped meat    
  • ½ glass of red wine   
  • 1 small can tomato paste diluted in one cup of water   
  • 1 28 oz. can Italian peeled tomatoes, chopped, with their own juice   
  • 1 bay leaf   
  • pinch of oregano   
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped basil   
  • Salt and pepper to taste   
  • 1 lbs. dry curly lasagna   
  • 2 lbs. ricotta   
  • 1 lb. shredded primosale or mozzarella   
  • ½ lb. grated caciocavallo or parmesan cheese   
  • Small chunk of butter 
  • Need a baking pan 13X9 

 

Preparation    

The Sauce 
Over a medium heat, in a 6 quart sauce pot combines the olive oil and onion,

sauté for a few minutes, then add the ground beef and sausages meat.

 

Chopped OnionsOlive OilBasil

 

Cook for 5 minutes, add in the wine, raise the heat to high and continue cooking until the alcohol has evaporated. When meat is brown put in the tomato paste diluted in water and cook for a few more minutes. Mix in the peeled tomatoes and the basil and oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Making the Sauce


Lower the flame and simmer uncovered for additional 45 minutes.
Let it rest a few minutes, and then skim off any excessive fat; set aside to cool.

Can be prepared a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator. 


Cooking the Pasta

In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons of salt; submerge the lasagna into the boiling water a few pieces at a time and cook al dente, or 2 minutes less that manufacturer recommends; then drop it into a basin with cold water to stop the cooking process.
When all the lasagna is cooked, drain and place on clean kitchen towels. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water.

 

The Assembly
If the ricotta is too dry, dilute with some water from pasta.

Set up all ingredients in front of you: the pasta, the sauce, , ricotta, primosale or mozzarella and cheese. Prepare a ladle to use for the sauce.
Rub the surface of the baking pan with the butter and spread a ladle of sauce at the bottom of the pan.

 
Place a layer of lasagna to cover the bottom of the pan, spread some sauce on top to cover; dollop 1/2 of the ricotta, sprinkle 1/2 of the primosale or mozzarella and some grated cheese.

Continue and make another layer with pasta, sauce and condiments; end with a layer of sauce and grated cheese.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the lasagna for 30 minutes.

 

Lasagna 

The lasagna can be prepared ahead and baked at the last minute. If the lasagna was refrigerated, before baking it, bring to room temperature.
Serve some of the remaining sauce and grated cheese on the side.

 

SauceGrated Cheese

 

 

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Variations:

 

Substitute penne or a short cut pasta for the lasagna: it will make easer to plate, and is equally delicious.

 

Pasta with meat sauce & ricotta