Binging with Babish: Lasagna from Garfield (feat. It's Alive with Brad)
A lotta people have a lot of, uh, mixed feelings about
lasagna. I - uh, I know how
Garfield? - Yeah. - New Jersey? - No, the, uh - the cat! (mutual laughter) Hey, what's up guys? Welcome back to
Babishwhere we just made ricotta with
Bradand Vinnie over at the Bon Appetit test kitchens. But now, we're making ragu bolognaise, for which we're going to need one pound each of ground pork, beef, and veal, the classic meatball mix. We're putting that in the pot over medium-high heat and not really trying to brown it, but really just sort of get all the fat out of it. It's less that we're going to have to be contending with later when we make our sauce. Into the pot with a little bit of the reserved fat goes: one chopped onion, one large chopped carrot, and a couple stalks of chopped celery. a few optional shakes of red pepper flakes, if you want a little tiny bit of heat, and a good pinch of oregano. Go ahead and let those flavors get to know each other, mingle, let the onion soften up, and then crush four cloves of garlic, sauteing for just an additional minute until fragrant because we've got a beautiful layer of fond forming on the bottom of this pot. Now if you're a dum-dum, you'll add the meat back to this pot and then deglaze with the wine What you wanna do is deglaze with the wine, and then add the meat back to the pot. Scrape up all that yummy good stuff and add 2 cups of homemade chicken...
stock (or chicken stock) in which you've dissolved one packet of gelatin. Now it's tomato time. We're sticking pretty close to the J. Kenji Lopez-Alt version of this recipe so add enough tomatoes so it's a ratio of like, a third tomatoes to the rest of the stuff. We're also gonna add a few sprigs of basil and not add a few sprigs of fresh sage: chop that stuff up, don't put it in whole like I did - along with a cup and a half of milk stir it up a little bit, add two bay leaves. Make sure everything's evenly dispersed and submerged, and it's time to slow-simmer this guy for a solid four hours. Alternately you can bake it with the lid partially open in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven for about four hours. Once it's gotten nice and thick and rich and relatively cohesive, let's fish out our sage and basil leaves, add a solid half cup of freshly chopped basil, and half a cup of heavy cream. We're also going to add a solid three ounces of grated Parmesan or like, half a wedge, whichever one comes first. Mix everything together, make sure everything's nice and melted, cohesive and rich and yummy and... Oh god, this stuff is good. But as always, we waited until the end to season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Probably gettin' tired of hearing this, but wait until the end to season your sauces and soups and stuff like that. Before you eat it all yourself by the spoonful, we're gonna place this guy on the back burner because...
now it's time to make fresh pasta. This is not our first time making pasta on the show - if you want to see how to make pasta from scratch, go check out the Basics episode on that. I'm just sorta doing the grandma thing here, no measuring bunch of flour, bunch of eggs, a little bit of salt, mix 'em all together. Now usually the problem I run into is that I've over-hydrated my dough, and this time I've under-hydrated it, so it is very, very hard to knead. If only I had some big, strong hands to help me with this... Big strong hands, you say,
Babish? Step aside! Oh, look, it's a really tall guy named
Brad! (clanging noises as
Bradfails to avoid the hanging pans) Geez, we're gonna do it again. But it looks like even
BradLeone from It's
Bradis having a really hard time with this dough, it's severely under-hydrated but not to worry, we've got a fix for that. For now, we're cutting up the dough into four equal pieces and wrapping in plastic wrap letting rest at room temperature for 30 minutes and starting to roll out using a pasta roller. Now if your dough is under-hydrated, you'll see that this starts to happen: the edges, when you put 'em through the pasta machine, are going to come out all torn and tattered The fix: re-knead the dough with a little bit of water. I mean yeah, we could use water, but uh, you know we got all this whey left over from the uh, ricotta making The byproduct of ricotta, we might as well...
add that to the dough, let that kinda add a little bit of tanginess a little bit of cheese flavor, I mean, we are makin'
lasagna, Babby. Is it weird that I like it when
Bradcalls me Babby? Anyway, it's almost time to assemble. Now I propose that we start with a lube layer of sauce... Yeah, lube layer sounds great! And uh, you know, get a little sauce on the bottom and then we'll drop, what, some noodles? We made 'em a little wide, do you mind if they overlap a little bit? No, y'know, a little overlap, it's life, but it's 2018. You guys,
Brad's right. It's 2018, let's embrace the overlap. Anyway, we're starting with sauce, then mozzarella, then ricotta between each sheet of pasta Yeah, well, we - we're putting in a little pot cheese in. Remember that stuff we made? Between the Sheets with
Brad, coming soon... Now I'm decidedly in the anti-ricotta-in-
lasagnacamp, but I'm gonna trust that this is gonna work out. So
Brad, what do you say we go ahead and bake this thing? Oh yeah, we got the oven set to 375F, we'll get a little Parmesan topper. I see you're hitting it with a little bit of freshly-ground pepper right there. And uh, throw this bad boy in right on a little sheet tray, alright, smart move there, Babby, so in case we get any bubbling over, we don't go all uh, smoking and burning down your house, you know. And 45 minutes later, it's time to dig in. Whoa, whoa, you gotta wait a little...
bit! Uh, everyone knows