pepperoni lasagna
3 ribs celery
cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion
cut into 1-inch pieces
5 medium carrots
peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 lbs pepperoni
thinly sliced
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground veal
1 lb ground pork
1 cup dry white wine
1 can whole tomatoes
28 ounces
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp fine sea salt
2 bunches fresh basil
about 42 grams
3 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp nutmeg
freshly grated
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 lbs lasagna noodles
1 lb pepperoni
thinly sliced
basil ricotta
prepared above
1 1/2 lbs provolone cheese
pepperoni sauce
prepared above
2 lbs fresh mozzarella cheese
This recipe is a ton of work, but we really like the ingredient combinations in it (especially the pepperoni and fish sauce), so we reworked the steps based on our kitchen equipment. We also had a sad incident with the ice bath and the sauce from the original instructions, so we've broken up the prep over 2 days to spare our sanity. Once you're ready to assemble, gloved hands worked best for layering all the ingredients. The pepperoni and basil ricotta taste delicious together!
for the sauce
Prepare the sauce the day before. Combine the celery, onion, carrots, and pepperoni in a large bowl. Working in 2 batches, mince the mixture in the food processor then transfer it to the pressure cooker.
Add the beef, veal, pork, white wine, tomatoes, fish sauce, and salt to the pressure cooker. Mix with gloved hands to combine and break up the ground beef. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes.
Dissipate the pressure naturally, then cool the sauce to room temp. Break up any large clumps of meat. Transfer the sauce into a storage container and chill in the fridge overnight.
for the basil ricotta
The next day, fill the stockpot with just enough water to blanch the basil. Salt the water then bring it to a boil. Prepare an ice bath in the measuring cup.
Blanch the basil - leaves and stems - for 1 minute then transfer to the ice bath. Rinse out the stock pot then fill it with salted water again and bring it to a boil for the noodles.
Squeeze the basil dry then transfer it to the food processor or blender with the ricotta, nutmeg, and salt. Puree it until it turns light green and smooth.
Empty the measuring cup and rest the fine-mesh sieve over it. Transfer the ricotta to the sieve, cover it with plastic wrap, then let it drain into the measuring cup in the fridge.
for the noodles
As the pasta water comes to a boil, fill 2 large bowls with 1/4 of the pepperoni sauce each, preferably the saucy top part versus the bottom meaty part.
Boil 1 pound of the noodles for about 5 minutes. They should be flexible but not cooked through.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer half of the noodles to the first bowl with sauce. With a spoon or gloved hands, coat the noodles evenly with the cold sauce. Repeat with the rest of the noodles, transferring them to the second bowl.
to assemble and bake
About 30 minutes before you plan to bake the lasagna, preheat the oven to 325°F.
Set up your mise en place. Transfer the ricotta into a pastry bag or equivalent. We usually just spoon it into the corner of a ziplock bag then cut the corner. Divide the provolone into 4 even stacks. Have the pepperoni readily available.
Using the diagram as a visual reference guide, stack the ingredients accordingly from the bottom up. Line the bottom of the first baking pan with a layer of pepperoni. Layer on the noodles, pipe in 1/4 of the ricotta, and layer 1/4 of the provolone.
Build another layer of noodles then top with half of the sauce from the storage container. Layer on 1/4 of the ricotta, pepperoni, and 1/4 of the provolone.
Add a final layer of noodles from the first bowl, then pour the remaining sauce from the bowl over it. Add one more layer of pepperoni then tear half of the mozzarella into bite size pieces to top it.
Repeat with the second baking pan.
Transfer the baking pan to a baking sheet, then bake uncovered for 1 hour and 30 minutes. The cheese should be browned and the lasagna should be bubbling. Turn off the oven and rest the lasagna for 15 minutes. Serve... finally! ;)
This lasagna keeps in fridge for 5 days, and keeps in the freezer for 1 month. We had to go to a few different stores to procure the ingredients. We found the mozzarella and provolone at Costco, then got everything else from Trader Joe's.