Lasagna in broth


If you thought you had seen everything, done everything, eaten everything, you are in for a surprise, let me tell you.

I was very skeptical when I saw a recipe for lasagna in broth for the first time. I imagined myself being forced to eat overcooked noodles, and I was prepared to apologize in advance for the soggy mess I was going to serve on the table.

Not at all. The result is a perfectly cooked, very flavourful pasta that is perfectly al dente, and a lasagna that has a flavour that will linger in your mouth for days. It is a memorable dish and well worth the effort.

Now, when the broth is one of the main ingredients (and in the recipe title), there is no way around it, you cannot take a shortcut here, and you must make your own broth. Making broth is the easiest thing ever: you just shove everything in the same pot and let it be. The longer, the better. I suggest making this one day ahead, as it will let you remove the excess fat once it has cooled a bit. The lasagna preparation will also be easier if the broth is already made.

I buy my meat bones in Ottawa at Produce Depot, they always have some available. I find prosciutto ends in Italian food shops like La Bottega, they cost next to nothing, and they add flavour and seasonings to your stock.

This is a meat lasagna, but you can make something beautiful with chicken also. Only with a homemade chicken stock, though. No cheating.

I bought fresh lasagna noodles at Luciano’s Foods, on Preston street, cooked them for 3-5 minutes in salted boiling water before using, and everything turned out perfect. I have seen people on the net making recipes like this one with oven-ready noodles, and they say it turned out well, though I have not personally tried them yet, so I can’t yet recommend to use those. Even better, make your own fresh pasta and use that. Whatever you do, you will want to make this again, I guarantee it.

Lasagne in brodo

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 24 hours
  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

For the meat broth:

250 g chicken bones
250 g pork bones
250 g beef bones
1 prosciutto end
1 onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic
1 rib celery, with leaves, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
12 black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
5 sprigs fresh thyme
a few parsley sprigs
1 stick cinnamon
salt to taste

Method:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a stockpot, cover with 10 cups water, bring to boil, then reduce to simmer, and cook, partially covered, for a minimum of 2-3 hours. Add salt to taste at the very end.
  2. Let the stock cool down a bit, then strain it through a fine sieve, reserving the liquid.
  3. Store in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. The next morning, remove the accumulated fat on top. The stock is now ready to use.

 

For the lasagna:

Enough lasagna sheets to make 4-5 layers
500 g ground veal
2 slices bread soaked in a bit of milk
parmesan, grated
nutmeg (optional)
1 large egg
salt and pepper to taste
leftover chicken, cooked
350 g cooked, unsmoked ham, finely chopped
Gruyère or provolone

Method:

  1. Cook the lasagna noodles in boiling salted water until al dente, rinse under cold water and set aside on clean kitchen towels.
  2. Bring your broth to a light simmer.
  3. Make the veal meatballs: in a bowl, mix the ground veal, bread squeezed from excess milk, egg, nutmeg (if using), salt and pepper and add enough parmesan for the mixture to hold together, 1/3 to 1/2 cup. Form ping-pong size meatballs and drop them in the simmering broth and cook, for about 7 minutes, until done. Remove from the broth and let them cool.
  4. Assemble the lasagna: cover the bottom of a lasagna dish with noodles. Then, take 3 or 4 meatballs and crush them between your hands, and spread the meat over the noodles. Add a few small handfuls of ham, a bit of chicken, and sprinkle approximately 3 tablespoons of parmesan over the meat. Put one or two ladlefuls of broth and put it over the first layer.
  5. Continue building the lasagna layers this way, crumbled meatballs, chicken, ham, cheese, broth, until you have 4 or 5 layers. Finish with a layer of pasta.
  6. Let the lasagna rest in the refrigerator or at room temperature for two to four hours, to let the noodles absorb all the wonderful broth flavour.
  7. Sprinkle parmesan, gruyère or provolone on the top layer, and cook in a 350F oven for 45 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Serve with a bit extra broth in each bowl.

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Categories: Pasta

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