Ciao a Tutti,
Happy 2010, everyone! It's been a whirlwind holiday season, and though I've pretty much pushed my snooze button into oblivion, it's time to get back in the kitchen! I know it's going to take some motivation, so with that in mind, this week's recipe is going to be a show-stopper. It's no surprise that the number one request for recipes from our viewers is also the most popular food with our beloved Nonne - that's right - we are making the very holy grail of foodstuffs: Lasagna! There's not a person on this planet who's had lasagna and never wanted to have it again (and if there is, fine, more for me), but for many people it can be a daunting task, especially if they've never seen it made. Luckily Nonna Rina is here from Emiglia-Romana to show us how it's done.
We start from the very beginning (where else?) with the sauce. Nonna Rina's Lasagna calls for a blend of beef, pork, and sweet sausage (out of the casing) in the sauce, which makes for a delicious medley of flavor. The sauce ingredient that truly stamps this as Nonna Rina is the inclusion of butter in the sauce. Until now, I'd have never thought of adding anything like butter, but let me tell you - it makes all the difference in the world. Between the meat and the butter the entire mixture is salted to perfection. If you're uneasy about buttering your meat, keep in mind that only the absolute finest steakhouses in the world include butter with their cuts of meat, and who are we to argue with them?
While your sauce is cooking, we can start on those long and fat noodles. They can be tricky after they're done cooking, so here's Nonna Rina's tip: before you put the Lasagna in the hot water, add a little bit of olive oil. Then once they are cooked replace the hot water with cold water. This will keep them from becoming starchy and sticky before you start laying them.
With so much going on at once, it's easy to forget ingredients. In our case, I left the ricotta in the fridge instead of letting it warm to room temperature for spreadability. No, we used cold ricotta. Nonna Rina, wealth of information that she is, has a special technique to spread that rebellious ricotta, so keep an eye out for it during the episode.
I'm so excited that we finally were able to give you the absolute BEST lasagna recipe I've ever tasted. It was a long search, but such an intricate dish requires only the finest in instruction, and I'm happy to say that Nonna Rina was just that! Thank you, Nonna Rina, for sharing your recipe with us. And thank you, loyal viewers, for tuning in. I have a feeling 2010 is going to be one for the record books!
Ciao a tutti!