La Bella Lasagna (part 1)

Mr. Bama, being the super simple, no fuss guy that he is, actually only asked for one thing for his birthday: Lasagna. 

Not just any old, Stoffers-stick -in-the-micro-and-voila you have some "Italian" looking food, but my Great-Grandmother's Lasagna.  I may not have learned much in my Ancestry.com venture, but I did know that my Great-grandmother, Anjulina (Julia), came to America in the late 1800s from Italy and at one point owned an Italian restaurant in New York City.  Pretty cool stuff.  My grandmother (who learned all of the recipes when she married my grandfather) has all of their recipes, which much to my dismay I have still failed to obtain.  I attempted to make the Lasagna last year for the first time by myself for New Years Eve, and it proved to be an "interesting" experience.  But this year I got to make it for Christmas dinner alongside my Grandmother, who helped me tweak my techniques and so I had complete confidence going into the endeavor this year.

Anywho, so here's the breakdown (even though the actual recipe I'm keeping to myself, family secrets and such)

The Sauce -- (You make it from scratch- no canned Ragu here)

Start with the basics:
Tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, basil and Italian parsley
and then the difficult part:


Finding a beef bone.  Sounds easy, but not so much.  I had to wait a whole week before WFM got in a new shipment of bones.  Who knew they were in such demand!?  The bone has to be broiled for a few mins, and then it looks not quite as gross

Then you put the Bone in the bottom of a Stock Pot, drizzle with olive oil and then crush your garlic and throw those into the pot to be sauted with the bone. Key - don't let the garlic burn (ewww....)  When they're fragrant (but once again, not burned) take out the cloves of garlic and discard them.  We're looking for a hint of garlic, not a choke hold.
After the garlic is done being sauted and is removed, then this is where the fun begins -- Just put all of the rest of your ingredients in your pot!  Not a lot of measurements, just taste and go.  In addition to the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley and basil, you can add about a 1/4 cup of red wine and sugar (or grated carrots) each to the sauce.  Then you simmer and stir every 30 mins or so until you're ready to make your lasagna or pasta.  If I'm planning on starting to make the lasagna around 5:30pm, then I start the sauce around 11am, giving it at least 6 good hours to percolate.
Next post we'll get into the good ol' fundamentals of building a perfect Lasagna!  Til then, just enjoy the authentic sauce that you made from scratch!

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