Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Carmela Soprano's Lasagne / Anna Sultana's Lasagne, Maltese Style

I was a little surprised to find this recipe in the Cooking The Neapolitan Way chapter.
I mean, I don't think Neapolitans invented Lasagne.
Then again, maybe they did.
And the recipe is a bit different from the way my Ma made Lasagne.


This Lasagne isn't something you can throw together at the last minute.
For one thing there's Carmela's Tomato Sauce.
Yes, it's better to make the sauce in advance.
And make the meatballs tiny.
Trust me.

So... you've made the sauce, with TINY meatballs.
Remove all the meats and set aside the pork and veal.
Cut the sausages into thin slices and put them with the TINY meatballs.
Don't worry.
The pork and veal will take care of two other meals.


The recipe calls for fresh egg pasta.
If you can only find boxed dry lasagne noodles, cook according to instructions.
Covered with all the cheese, meat and sauce, it will work.


Frankly, I would make Lasagne, The Maltese Way.
Put a  thin layer of the sauce in the pan. 
Place the first layer of drained, cooked pasta directly on the sauce.
Layer the cheese and sausages.
Repeat.
Save a few towels.
That's my Ma's way, The Maltese Way.

Don't do the math the totals of cheeses to have on hand is:
2 pounds ricotta
1 pound mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 Cup grated Parmesan, Romano or a combination


Other than the sauce, it's a simple recipe.
So, okay, here's Lasagne, The Neapolitan Way.


                        Lasagne

Serves 8 to 10

Lay out lint-free towels on the table.
Fill a large bowl with cold water.

Have on hand
at least 12 (10 x 4 inches each) fresh egg pasta

In a large pot place
4 quarts water
salt to taste
Bring to a boil.
Add
a few pieces of the lasagne
Cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente.
Scoop the pasta out and place it in the cold water.
When cool, place the pasta on the towels.
You can place the towels on top of each other.
Repeat with the remaining pasta.
         
Preheat oven to 350ยบ           

Spread a thin layer of the sauce in a 9 x 13" pan

*Make a layer of 3 pieces of pasta, overlapping the edges.
Spread on top of the pasta
1/2 pound ricotta
Scatter on top
1/4 each of the prepared sausage slices and TINY meatballs
1/4 pound mozzarella, thinly sliced
Spoon over cheese
1 Cup of tomato sauce
Sprinkle on top
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan, Romano or a combination
Repeat from * 3 more times.

At this point you can cover tightly with foil and refrigerate,
as long as overnight.
Let the lasagne get to room temperature before baking.

Bake 80 minutes, until the top is browned.
If it's browning too quickly, cover the top loosely with foil.
Remove from the oven and let sit 15 minutes.
Cut the lasagne into squares and serve.


Would I make Lasagne again?
Sure.
The Maltese Way.
Pasta on towels?  Pul-lease....


One recipe down.  Seventy more to go. 

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