Mike Gordon’s Lasagne
The foundation of Mike Gordon’s lasagne is traditional, but his addition of tarragon and Marsala wine gives it a sophisticated, intriguing flavor. Mr. Gordon encourages making large quantities of his lasagne, since “it always tastes better the next day.”
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Coursemain course
Taste and Texturecheesy, herby, meaty, savory
Type of Dishbaked pasta
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
- 1/3 cup dry Marsala wine
- 8 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 4 cups canned crushed Italian plum tomatoes
- ½ cup tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound lasagne noodles
- 1 pound ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup unflavored seltzer
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
- ¼ pound Parmesan cheese, thinly sliced
- ¼ pound Romano cheese, thinly sliced
Prepare the sauce and noodles: In a nonreactive large pot over medium heat, brown the ground beef, breaking it up with a spoon, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour off any excess fat. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté for 1 minute. Add the tarragon and Marsala, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and 1 cup water. Partially cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for up to 8 hours (the longer the better).
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the lasagne noodles and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside in a large bowl of cold water to prevent the noodles from sticking together.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Make the filling: In a large bowl, stir together the ricotta and eggs. Whisk in the seltzer; the mixture should be fluffy. Fold in the grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses.
Assemble the lasagne: Butter a large baking dish or lasagne pan. Remove a few noodles from the water and pat them dry. Arrange a layer of noodles over the bottom of the pan. Ladle 1 cup of the sauce over the noodles; top with a layer of the sliced Parmesan and Romano cheeses. Spread 1 cup of the cheese filling on top. Repeat the layering process, using the remaining noodles, sauce, sliced cheese, and cheese filling, until you reach the top of the pan. End with a final layer of noodles. Top with any remaining sliced Parmesan and Romano cheeses.
Bake the lasagne until the top is golden brown, 1 hour. The lasagne is best if you let it rest overnight and reheat it the next day.
1992 Molly O'Neill