Labor of Love: Don Angie's Lasagne Rollups
Since this recipe took most of the day, and I know most of you will NOT be making this labor intensive dish....I am going to just post photos and helpful hints.
I will give you the link to the original recipe, and a link to the owners' video, so you can watch a tutorial if you are really interested.
Also, here is this link from Food & Wine with some helpful tips on making this recipe.
The beginning of the story is......I rarely go to a restaurant that is overhyped.
That means....impossible to get into.......RESY and OPEN TABLE always sold out.....you have to know someone to get in......who needs it?
I like to wait a year for the place to calm down before Stacey Snacks makes an appearance. ;)
A recent Sunday night in Greenwich Village (NYC). Walked into DON ANGIE (one of the hottest restaurants in NYC) WITHOUT a reservation and was seated immediately!
Tried all the classic dishes on the menu....the gorgeous calamari; the crazy stuffed cheesy garlic bread; and the lasagne rollups for two, $64 (worth every last bite).
I knew I had to make this at home.
If you are having a dinner party, this is quite impressive. My dish turned out enough for 6 hungry people.
Here are my notes, ingredients list, photos and links.
The process is like making cinnamon rolls......
Here is the ingredients list as I made it....in smaller quantities:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small shallot, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme (I used dried)
8 grinds of black pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups cold whole milk
2 ounces finely diced pancetta
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 ribs celery, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound ground sweet Italian sausage
1/2 pound ground pork (I used the meatloaf mix 1/3 beef, 1/3 pork, 1/3 veal)
fresh ground black pepper
1 cup dry wine
1 (28 ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes & juices, broken up with a knife
1 cup whole milk
2 cloves of STAR ANISE (really makes it special)
For assembling the lasagne rolls you will need:
2 large fresh pasta sheets (9x9 or 13x9)
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Tomato sauce for the bottom of the casserole (you can certainly use high quality jarred sauce)
6 ounces fresh Robiola cheese (fresh mozzarella or ricotta)
flat leaf parsley, chopped
*The key to making this recipe turn out well is making sure everything is COOL.
Make the bechamel sauce (I did NOT use 2 quarts of milk and 4 sticks of butter as in the original recipe)....
Bechamel is usually kind of gross, butter, flour and milk (glue), but here, we are using bay leaves, shallots and thyme....makes it kind of better.
You are going to chop carrots, garlic, onions and celery and then pulse them in a food processor.
Make the bolognese sauce and let it completely cool. This will take 2 hours of simmering on the stove. Keep stirring it every 10 minutes or so. It will get nice and thick and concentrated.
I followed the recipe and used the tomatoes, the milk, the wine, the vegetables, even the STAR ANISE (weird, but it was lovely).
Regarding pasta: The video shows these gorgeous fresh, super big, homemade sheets of pasta. I found a smaller version of fresh lasagne sheets, so they made 4 rolls (instead of 1 huge roll).
Giovanni Rana makes smaller sheets (will be harder to roll, but beggars can't be choosers), found in the refrigerator section of better grocery stores....and of course, Whole Foods sells fresh large lasagne sheets, they have a fresh pasta counter in most of their stores.
Remember: make sure your ingredients are cool, otherwise the rolls will fall apart. They will be much easier to slice when they are cool too.
Here is the video of the owners of Don Angie making the lasagne in the restaurant. Remember the amounts in the recipe are HUGE....so you can scale back a lot. It will still make a large amount.
After slicing the logs, lay the pinwheels in a large casserole that is covered in tomato sauce (not the Bolognese filling).
Also a note: I did not pipe in Robiola cheese, but instead used fresh water packed mozzarella, which melted into creamy deliciousness.
Bake 15 minutes in a preheated 400F oven.
The crispy edges were perfection.
Dot with fresh parsley and drizzle with good olive oil just before serving.
We loved it as much as the original restaurant version.
I divided the leftovers into 2 casserole dishes for lunch the next day. I added extra tomato sauce so the rolls weren't dry.
Best eaten the day you make them.
In this case, it is mostly about presentation. I defy anyone to make a beautiful presentation of lasagne/lasagna - until this recipe. Looks like a platter full of lovely meaty flowers.
I enjoy much that you present. This one is a fun read. Now back to my reality. :-)
I know what you mean.....when I started this food blog 10 years ago, my dishes were much more time consuming, complex and dinner party worthy.
These days I am all about simple and fresh.
But this dish was definitely worth it!
My brother said it was the best lasagne he had ever eaten.