Baked Spinach Lasagne
1⁄4 cup water
2 bunches fresh spinach, trimmed
11⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
Bolognese Meat Sauce
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and minced
1 rib celery, minced
1⁄2 medium carrot, peeled and minced
2-3 slices prosciutto, finely chopped
2 chicken livers, finely chopped
11⁄2 pounds ground chuck
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup dry white wine
1 cup hot milk
1 cup beef broth
1 (28-ounce) can pureed Italian plum tomatoes
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 tablespoons butter
1⁄4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
Salt and pepper
For the pasta, bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add spinach and cook until completely wilted, about 3 minutes. Drain and, when cool enough to handle, squeeze out water. Finely chop spinach, then puree in a food processor. Set aside.
Sift flour into a mound on a clean surface and make a well in the center. Add spinach and eggs. Lightly beat eggs and spinach together with a fork then gradually incorporate flour from the inside edge of the well into spinach mixture. When dough becomes too stiff to work with the fork, knead flour into spinach mixture using hands until dough is no longer sticky. Form dough into a ball and cover with a damp kitchen towel.
Unwrap dough and knead with the heel of your hand until dough is smooth, another 5 minutes. Flatten dough so it will fit through the rollers of a pasta machine. Set rollers at the widest setting, then feed pasta through rollers 3 or 4 times, folding and turning pasta until it is smooth and the width of the machine. Cut dough into 4 pieces.
Begin rolling pasta through the machine, decreasing the settings, one notch at a time. Roll pasta through each setting until you reach the second from the finest notch. Cover pasta with a damp kitchen towel to keep from drying out until ready to cut pasta into the shape you need.
For the Bolognese, heat oil in a large, deep, heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until soft and translucent but not browned, 4-5 minutes. Add celery and carrot and cook for 3 minutes more. Add prosciutto and chicken livers and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until meat is just cooked and still a little pink. Crumble ground chuck into pot and season to taste with salt and pepper. Break up chuck, stirring constantly, until meat is just cooked and still a little pink, about 5 minutes.
Stir in wine and cook until it evaporates completely, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add hot milk, stirring occasionally, until milk has evaporated. Heat broth and tomatoes together in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until hot, then add to meat mixture. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer for 21⁄2 hours, stirring occasionally.
For the Béchamel Sauce, melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour and whisk for 11⁄2 minutes (do not allow flour to brown). Gradually add milk, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper and stir constantly until sauce is as thick as heavy cream, about 15 minutes.
To assemble, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly oil a 9×13-inch baking pan with olive oil and set aside. Cook pasta sheets in a large pot of salted boiling water over high heat 2 sheets at a time until they float to the surface, about 10 seconds. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into a large bowl of salted ice water to stop further cooking. Remove from water when cool and dry between two clean kitchen towels.
Line the bottom of the prepared baking pan with a layer of pasta, trimming the sheets with a knife so they fit in one even layer (patch if necessary). Spread evenly with 1 cup Bolognese, then sprinkle lightly with Parmigiano. Add another layer of pasta and evenly spread 1 cup Béchamel on pasta, then sprinkle again with Parmigiano. Repeat layers, ending with Bolognese and Parmigiano.
Bake in top third of the oven for 10 minutes. Turn oven up to 500 degrees and cook until lasagne is bubbling around the edges and browned on top, 5 to 7 minutes more. Do not overcook. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Olive Oil Cakes
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon fine salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
11⁄4 cups whole milk
2 cups sugar
1⁄4 cup orange liqueur, rum, brandy or whisky
11⁄2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons anise seed
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons lemon or orange marmalade
2 fresh rosemary sprigs, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two (10-inch) round cake pans.
In a nonreactive saucepan, reduce the orange juice over medium heat to 1⁄4 cup. Add salt, stir, and let cool.
Lightly beat eggs with paddle attachment in standing mixer on high for 1 minute until frothy. Add milk, sugar, liqueur, olive oil, reduced orange juice, lemon zest, anise and 1 teaspoon rosemary. Mix for 1 minute until well blended. Mix in the flour, baking soda and baking powder until well blended and smooth.
Pour half of the mixture into each oiled cake pan. Bake for 1 hour. Place on a rack to cool. Run a knife around the edges and place it on a plate. While the cake is still warm, smooth 3 tablespoons of marmalade onto the top of each cake. Sprinkle remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary evenly over both cakes. Garnish center with rosemary sprig. Cut each cake into wedges and serve.
Cocktail Party Beef Tenderloin
1 beef tenderloin (3-5 pounds)
1 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
1 (6-ounce) box lemon gelatin
1 cup boiling water
11⁄2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons cold water
8 ounces sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
10 ounces prepared horseradish
Preheat oven to 500-degree convection bake. Cook beef until internal temperature reaches 120 to 130 degrees, rare to medium-rare. Remove from oven and let cool.
Combine wine, Worcestershire, pepper and lemon juice in a ziptop bag. Add tenderloin and refrigerate at least 12 hours, turning bag several times. Remove beef from marinade and slice thin. Serve cold with Horseradish Mold and rolls.
For the Horseradish Mold, dissolve lemon gelatin in boiling water. Soak unflavored gelatin in cold water and add to hot gelatin mixture. Working quickly with a wire whisk, add sour cream, mayo and horseradish and mix until smooth. Pour into a greased 1-quart mold and chill until set.