The Crunchy Part of the Lasagna by Massimo Bottura


Lasagna is not just food,
it’s an emotion.


The Crunchy Part of the Lasagne debuted at Osteria Francesca in 1995. Though retired from the OF menu, this icon dish is immortal and featured at Francescana at Casa Maria Luigia.


Ingredients


Ragù

1 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 g extra-virgin olive oil
2 dried bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary
100g bone marrow
50g pancetta steccata, chopped
100g sausagemeat
200g veal tail
100g veal tongue
100g beef cheek
100g cherry tomato confit
80g white wine
1.5g capon stock
5g sea salt
1g black pepper


Pasta Dough

100g spinach
100g Swiss chard
500g ‘00’ flour
8 egg yolks
1 egg
salt


Béchamel Foam

100g spinach
100g Swiss chard
500g ‘00’ flour
8 egg yolks
1 egg
salt


Tomato Terrine

4 ripe tomatoes
1g sugar
1g sea salt
0.5g freshly ground black pepper
3g extra virgin olive oil
2g agar agar


Parmigiano Crackers

15g soft butter
90g 30-month Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
5g cornflour (cornstarch)


Instructions


Ragù

Make a classic soffritto by cooking the onion, carrot and celery very gently in a pan with the olive oil. Transfer to a stainless steel bowl and stir in the bay and rosemary. Blanch the bone marrow in salted boiling water and drain it on paper towels to absorb any excess liquid. Sweat the pancetta in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the sausagemeat and cook until browned. Remove any excess fat, then add the remaining meats, keeping them in large pieces, and cherry tomato confit. Brown them, add the wine and cook until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and add the soffritto. Put the mixture in a sous-vide bag along with a little of the stock, and seal. Cook for 24 hours at 63°C (145°F). Open the bag and separate the liquid and solids. Place the liquid in a pan and reduce it by half over low heat. Chop the meat with a sharp knife. Put it in a large saucepan and add the liquid.


Pasta

Cook the spinach and chard in boiling water, then chill it immediately in iced water. Drain it well, dry it and pound it thoroughly. Sift the flour on to a board and make a well in the centre. Add the egg yolks, egg and the spinach mixture gradually to the well, mixing until the dough comes together in a ball. Knead for 15 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Cover it with a clean dish cloth and leave to rest for 30 minutes. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 1 mm (1⁄16 inch). Cut it into 5-cm (2-inch) triangles. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water (10 g salt per litre), drain it and dry it well. Stack the pasta, cover it carefully and let stand in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F). Bake for 15 minutes, until the pasta is perfectly gratinated. Let stand in a warm place for 5 minutes before serving.


Béchamel Foam

Melt the butter in a pan and add the flour and salt. Cook, stirring, until it forms a smooth paste, then add the milk. Stir very well and when it starts to thicken, add the Parmigiano and keep stirring. Cook for 5 more minutes. While still warm, process it in a thermal mixer at maximum speed, then strain it, put it into a siphon and chill it. Once cold, charge with 2 charges and shake it well.


Tomato Terrine

Blend the tomatoes thoroughly and strain them, adding the sugar, salt, pepper and oil. Put the liquid into a small pan with the agar agar and bring to a boil, stirring, until it has melted completely. Pour the mixture into a 10 x 15-cm (4 x 6-inch) rectangular tray and let cool. Once cold, cut it into 1 x 15-cm (1⁄2 x 6-inch) strips.


Parmigiano Crackers

Knead the butter, Parmigiano and cornflour (cornstarch) together briefly. Roll it out to a thickness of 2 mm (1⁄8 inch) and cut it into 5-cm (2-inch) triangles, like the pasta. Bake at 200°C (400°F) for 2 minutes, or less if necessary, until lightly browned.


To Serve

Place a straight line of tomato terrine along the plate. Place four spoonfuls of the ragù alongside it, topped with spoonfuls of the béchamel foam. Rest 2 Parmigiano crackers and 2 crispy pasta pieces alternately in front of them.

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