Pasta is an essential part of any Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Epiphany celebration and it is common to see multiple pasta dishes on the same table so people can have different tastes. Rather than choose among them, below are three great pasta dishes that are traditional to serve at the holidays. They are all easy to make and are wonderful tasting in their simple elegance. In no particular order…
Lasagna al forno-From Emilia Romagna
Five fresh pasta sheets or 15 dry pasta strips. Whether fresh or dry, prepare the pasta and place in a large bowl of cold water until you are ready to use.
- Lasagna pasta
- ¾ lb. chopped beef
- ¾ lb. chopped pork
- 1 ½ lbs shredded whole milk mozzarella
- 1 qt. whole milk
- ¼ c. all-purpose flour
- ¼ c. unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmg
- ¼ c. grated parmesan cheese
- 32 oz. good marinara
Add the flour and butter to a saucepan. Cook until it is golden. Slowly add the milk and allow to boil to make a béchamel sauce. Add the parmesan and the nutmeg. Cool slightly before using.
Brown the meat in 6 tbsp. olive oil until. Allow to cool slightly before using.
Place about ½ c. of marinara in the bottom of a 9x3x2 inch baking dish. Place a layer of pasta on top. Sprinkle with about ½ to 2/3 c. meat. Place another ½ c. marinara and ½ c. béchamel. Repeat for another layer. Then in the third layer, add the meat, sauces and half of the mozzarella. Repeat with the pasta, meat and sauce for another two layers, until you have a total of five layers. Top with more of the sauces and the rest of the marinara. Cook at 375 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is golden. Allow to sit outside of the oven for at least 15 minutes before serving.