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Vincisgrassi, my home-made lasagna from the Marche region

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I Vincisgrassi are a typically Marche festive dishit's a baked lasagna but without bechamel and with stronger seasoning 😉

As always being a traditional dish every house has its own recipe, a thousand small and large variations that everyone defends tooth and nail! This is why I carry on and apologize to all the readers from the Marche (especially from the central Marches) who will not find their recipe in mine, be tolerant and maybe share your version here, I would really be happy 🙂

Where do these come from vincisgrassi? The name is certainly funny, it is said to derive from the mispronunciation of Windisch Graetz, the name of an Austrian general who in 1799, during the Napoleonic wars, was stationed with his troops in Ancona and who, thanks to his personal chef who had created the recipe, he fell in love with this dish. In reality, the first mention of Vincisgrassi should be attributed to Antonio Nebbia who in “Il cuoco maceratese” talks about the sauce for Princisgrass, twenty years before the general's arrival.

Well, I had the recipe dictated to me by my mother who, as always, chose to take up the baton from her family of origin even if… even if, in reality, for the Christmas holidays and for all the special occasions at the grandparents' house the vincisgrassi were not prepared (at least as far as I remember) perhaps because having moved to Romagna they had “chosen” to opt for the exotic and richer version, the green lasagna, perhaps… I will have to Find out more with the relevant people 😉 However, when we went to visit relatives in the Marche region, this dish was never missing and welcomed us with its aroma.

Mom's version involves theabsence of bechamel and the presence of giblets of chicken in ragù, certainly a stronger dish than green lasagne Bolognese, without too many compromises and with a strong flavor not mitigated by the bechamel which would sweeten the sauce too much. Searching through books and on the web I noticed many different versions with a common denominator which is the presence of giblets, sweetbreads and brains in the ragù. A dish for strong stomachs, then?! It's up to you to decide, as far as I'm concerned it's a traditional dish that I don't want to abandon and that I look for every time I go down between Macerata and Fermo, where a little piece of my heart was born and where I willingly return especially when the holidays are approaching.

Fat wins

For the pastry:

  • 200 g of 00 flour
  • 2 eggs

For the ragù:

  • 250 g of beef cut with a knife
  • 200 g of chicken maghetti/durelli
  • 3 chicken livers
  • 600 g of tomato puree
  • 1/2 glass of dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons of double tomato paste
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste

200 g of Parmigiano Reggiano

(For 4 portions) Prepare the ragù the day before. Wash the chicken breasts under running water and leave them to dry on absorbent paper. Chop the carrots and onion and let the chopped fry fry in a thick-bottomed saucepan together with the cloves, with plenty of extra virgin olive oil. Add the minced meat and chicken breasts to the sauté, raise the heat and let all the watery part exude (it will take about 10 minutes). Add the white wine, then add salt and pepper and add the tomato and the concentrate diluted in a little water (less than half a glass). Leave to cook over low heat for an hour, at this point add the livers and continue cooking for another hour. If the ragù dries out too much, add a ladle of hot water. Once cooked, remove the livers and livers and chop them with a knife and then put them back in the sauce.

While the ragù is cooking, prepare the pasta. Make a well with the flour on a cutting board, break the eggs in the center and start mixing with the help of a fork. When the flour and eggs begin to form a combined mixture, knead by hand for about ten minutes until the dough is smooth and uniform. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to rest for half an hour.
Once the time has passed, roll out a thin sheet of dough and cut out squares. Cook the pastries al dente in boiling salted water, drain them and stop cooking in a bowl of cold water to which salt has been added. Once cooled, let the sheets dry on a clean cloth.

Take the baking tray (25×18 or oval) and grease it well with oil or butter. place a spoonful of ragù on the bottom and begin to arrange the first sheet of dough, sprinkle it with two generous spoonfuls of ragù and a sprinkling of parmesan and continue until the ingredients are used up (at least 5 layers). Before baking, put a spoonful of milk in the four corners.

Cover the pan with foil and bake in a hot oven at 180° for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and continue cooking for another 10/12 minutes. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for 5 minutes and then cut the portions.

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