That was a clip from the apple t-v plus limited series ‘Lessons In Chemistry’ set in the 1950’s following a woman on a mission to teach a nation of overlooked housewives more than just recipes. Joining us now with more is food consultant and chef Courtney McBroom.
Streaming on Apple TV+ starting October 13th
The Perfect Lasagna
serves 8 to 10
active time: 50 min
total time: 150 min
For the Bolognese
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (45ml)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (30g)
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red chili flakes (2g)
1, 6 ounce can tomato paste (170g)
1 pound 90% lean ground beef (450g)
1 pound ground pork (450g)
¼ pound pancetta, ground or very finely chopped (110g)
1 cup whole milk (240ml)
1 cup dry white wine (240ml)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (3g)
For the ricotta béchamel
5 tablespoons unsalted butter (70g)
¼ cup all-purpose flour (40g)
3 cups whole milk, warmed (720ml)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (4g)
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (1g)
1, 15-ounce container ricotta cheese (425g)
For the assembly
Olive oil, for brushing
1 pound dried lasagna noodles
2 cups finely grated parmesan (200g)
1 ½ cups grated mozzarella cheese (150g)
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the carrot, celery, and onion. Saute, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, add the garlic and chili flakes, and cook for an additional minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until the tomato paste coats the bottom of the pan and turns a deep, brick red color, about 3 minutes. Add the ground beef, ground pork, and pancetta. Cook until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. As it cooks, season with salt and use a wooden spoon or spatula to smash the meat and break it into small bits. Stir in the milk and wine, and bring to a simmer. Add the oregano, cover, and reduce to the lowest temperature. Simmer for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and skim most of the fat, (not all of it, leave a little bit for flavor). Season with more salt, if desired.
Make the ricotta béchamel while the Bolognese simmers. Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula. In a steady stream, whisk in the milk. Bring to a simmer and cook on medium low for 1 minute to thicken. Stir in the salt and nutmeg and remove from heat. Let cool for 15 minutes, then stir in the ricotta cheese. Season with more salt, if desired.
Heat the oven to 375°F and brush a 9×13 inch pan with olive oil. Boil the lasagna noodles in a large pot of heavily salted water to just under al dente (usually about 1 minute less than the package’s instructions). Drain and slick them with a little bit of olive oil to prevent sticking. Spread ¾ cup of the ricotta béchamel on the bottom of the pan and top with a layer of noodles, with little to no overlap. Spread another ¾ cup of béchamel on top of the noodles, then spread ¼ of the Bolognese on top (about 1¼ cups). Top with a liberal dusting of parmesan cheese (about ⅓ cup). Top with another layer of noodles and repeat this layering process 4 more times, giving you 5 layers of pasta. You should have used the last of the Bolognese on the 4th layer. Top the final layer with the remaining béchamel, the remaining parmesan, and all of the mozzarella cheese.
Courtney will have all components of the lasagna made, (Bolognese will be heated on the cooktop), and will assemble together in lasagna dish with the host. We will also have one completed/cooked to present. For ease of cutting/serving, the completed lasagna will be cold/room temp. Hopefully hosts will play along that it’s warm.
Daytime Chicago airs weekdays on WGN from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.