Basil Pesto Lasagna
Recipe from NY Times Cooking
1 Cup ENZO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Medium Red onions, finely diced
2 Large Garlic cloves, minced
8 oz. Pancetta, diced Salt and ground pepper, to taste
1½ Cup Red wine, preferably Italian
2 28-ounce Canned Italian plum tomatoes
3 Tbsp. Tomato paste
¾ Lb. Ground sirloin
¼ Cup Freshly Pecorino Romano, grated
10 Sprigs Fresh parsley, leaves only, washed, and dried
2 Large Garlic cloves
½ Cup All-purpose flour
1 Lb. Italian sausage, ½ hot and ½ sweet
1 15-Ounce Container ricotta cheese
2 Extra Large eggs
2 Cups Pecorino Romano, freshly grated
½ Cup Parsley, chopped
1 Lb. Mozzarella, grated
16 sheets fresh lasagna noodles, preferably Antica Pasteria
ENZO'S TABLE Basil Pesto
For the sauce, heat ½ cup oil in a large heavy Dutch oven or kettle over low heat. Add onions, minced garlic, and pancetta to cook, stirring, for 10 minutes, until onions are wilted. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Raise heat slightly, add the wine and cook until it is mostly reduced, about 20 minutes. Crush the tomatoes into the pan and add their juice. Add the tomato paste and 2 cups lukewarm water. Simmer for 1 hour.
Combine the sirloin, cheese, and eggs in a large bowl. Chop the parsley with the whole garlic until fine, then stir into the beef mixture. Season lavishly with salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix until all the ingredients are well blended. Shape into meatballs and set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dust the meatballs lightly with flour, shaking off excess, and lay into the hot oil. Brown the meatballs on all sides (do not cook through) and transfer to the sauce.
In a clean skillet, brown the sausages over medium-high heat. Transfer to the sauce. Simmer 1 ½ hours.
Heat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, eggs, pecorino Romano, parsley, and all but 1 cup of mozzarella. Season well with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
Remove the meatballs and sausage from the sauce, set aside and cool slightly, then chop coarsely. Spoon a thick layer of sauce into the bottom of a 9-by-12-inch lasagna pan. Cover with a layer of noodles. Spoon more sauce on top, then add a third of the meat and a third of the cheese mixture. Repeat for 2 more layers, using all the meat and cheese. Top with a layer of noodles, and cover with the remaining cause. Sprinkle reserved mozzarella evenly over the top. Bake for 30 minutes. Let Stand 10 minutes before topping with Basil Pesto.