Untours Cafe

I got the Nella recipe for lasagna from another IdyllChat person and have been sharing it with those folks - but thought I would put it on the Cafe for others to see and cook.

[This is the recipe that Mary Jane, the Untours Rep in Florence, got at Nella's  restaurant in Florence, Italy. She went to Nella's and watched them make it while she was writing it down and making the proper adjustments in the amounts. We got it from another Untourist, Wynn Pope]


Nella’s Lasagna


  • 1 pound Lasagna
  • This is the tricky part, because at Nella they use lasagna noodles, freshly made that day. Perhaps you have a place, or want to make your own. Or just get them at the supermarket!


Bechamel Sauce  16 oz

  • Ingredients:
    • 3 Tbls butter
    • 3 Tbls plain flour
    • 1 Pint whole milk
    • salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg



1.     Make a roux: melt the butter down, add the flour and stir well with a whisk.

2.     Add the COLD milk and stir well with the whisk until the mixture reaches the boiling

        point. Season well and add a pinch of nutmeg,

3.     Top with a little melted butter to avoid the formation of a crust


Bolognese Sauce (Ragu)

  • Ingredients:
  • Vegetable broth,  7 oz
  • Butter  1 Tbls
  • Beef  ½ lb chopped veal or beef
  • Pork  ½ lb chopped pork loin
  • Carrots   1
  • Onions    2
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil  ½ cup
  • Pancetta, chopped,  6 TBS
  • Parmigiano Reggiano,  7 oz
  • Black pepper, a “dusting”
  • Tomatoes, peeled  1 lb. Very ripe fresh, or canned
  • Prosciutto,   1 Slice
  • Sausage,  ¼ lb
  • Celery,   1 stalk
  • Red Wine,   1 Cup




The Preparation and Cooking of the Lasagna


Begin by preparing all the necessary ingredients: peel and crumble the sausage, cut and cube the prosciutto, beef, pork and and pass the peeled tomatoes through the food mill.


Chop together the onion, carrot, celery and pancetta and sauté them in a fry pan, together with a little olive oil and 1 oz. of butter.


After a few minutes add the sausage, the prosciutto and the ground meat, then let it brown for a couple of minutes over a fairly hot  flame.


Add the red wine and let it evaporate, still keeping the flame fairly high. At this point add the peeled tomatoes, broth, pepper and a pinch of salt and let it cook in a half covered pan for almost two hours, stirring it every now and then and adding a bit of broth if necessary.


While the ragu cooks, prepare the béchamel following the recipe above - - remembering that for lasagna, béchamel must turn out quite fluid.


Once the ragu is ready, preheat the oven to 350° and begin to assemble the lasagna.


Cook the lasagna noodles according to directions or use no-cook type lasagna noodles.  Some folks claim that the no-cook noodles work fine, but we used the kind that need cooking.


Butter a rectangular baking dish and line the bottom with pasta, then cover it with several spoonfuls of béchamel, with abundant ragu and a dusting of Parmiagiano Reggiano.  Cover with another layer of pasta and continue this way until all ingredients are gone, ending with a thin light layer of béchamel mixed with ragu and then sprinkle with abundant Parmiagiano.


Place it in the oven for at least 40 minutes, checking on it every so often. It will be ready when it has assumed a beautiful color and a golden crust.


When it is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes, then cut it in the pan and serve while it is hot.


Buon appetito,


Margaret and Peter

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