When it comes down to it, my favorite, most comforting, and nostalgic dish to eat is this lasagna verdi from the Simili sisters of Bologna. I just recently found the recipe online, but for the almost ten years I’ve been cooking it, I was using a scanned copy of a copy my mother made me years ago.
It has a melty and formidable Bolognese ragu, with a touch of funk from chicken liver and prosciutto. Though the real star is the tender, fresh spinach noodles, slathered with creamy besciamella, resulting in a most luxurious but balanced of lasagnas.
But most of all, it’s hand made with time and care which can only be provided by someone who loves to cook, and it makes me happy to spend the time making it for others. I loved it the first time my mom made it for me, and I love it each time I make it every year or so.
This year I quadrupled the recipe to make portions for friends of mine. I have a handful of friends whom are extremely generous with me when it comes to wine and food, and I try to repay them with cooking efforts and thanks. Thankfully, my brother offered his kitchen and strong culinary assistance in this project, which is an all day affair. Well, if you are having a few beverages like we were, the timeline creeps into the night as well.
We cooked a massive bag of spinach and minced and squeezed it to nothing but a handful, then mixed it with our dough.
We rolled it out, and out, and out…a Kitchen Aid attachment is quite helpful. Personally I only have a hand crank model, which I’m glad I didn’t have to use for this volume of pasta.
Here’s a blurry action shot of me quick cooking and ice-bathing the dough.
The end result of the finished product. We actually ran out of the ragu, which seemed impossible when we examined the huge pot of meaty magic, which I did slightly modify to include pork and veal, as I think adds complexity and texture. I admit it could look a little more appealing on top – it’s a little dog food-ish in appearance.
But I was extremely pleased with the result, and ate it for days, both dinner and breakfast, which is my favorite time to eat lasagna. Fresh pasta lasagna and a strong cup of coffee. Put that down as my death row meal.