I made recipe cards for the competition again this time around, so here it is. Just because it lost doesn’t mean it isn’t tasty!

Ingredients

10 – 12 lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
1 recipe tomato sauce (follows)
1 recipe fontina bechamel (follows)
1 1/2 lb. mozzarella, sliced or shredded
1 c. grated parmeggiano reggiano
1 1/2 c. fresh ricotta
Assembly

Preheat your oven to 375˚. Ladle a small amount of tomato sauce into a 13x9x2 pan and spread out to coat the bottom of the pan. Add one layer of lasagna noodles (3 – 4 noodles, overlapping slightly). Add a generous amount of tomato sauce. Top with 1/2 of the ricotta in dollops (it will melt and spread out as the lasagna cooks). Top with 1/3 of the mozzarella and grated parmeggiano. Add another layer of noodles, a thin layer of tomato sauce, and the fontina béchamel. Add the rest of the ricotta, 1/3 of the mozzarella and grated parmiggiano. Add one final layer of noodles and a generous amount of tomato sauce and then top with final 1/3 of mozzarella and parmiggiano. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until heated through and bubbling. Let cool for at least 5 – 10 minutes before digging in!

Tomato Sauce

1 carrot, peeled & roughly chopped
1 onion, peeled &  roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, skin removed
1/2 lb. mushrooms, finely chopped
1 small bell pepper, finely chopped
2 T. tomato paste
1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 c. red wine
1 t. Tony Chachere’s seasoning
1 t. red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
8 fresh sage leaves, minced
2 bay leaves
olive oil
1 c. fresh basil leaves, chopped

Pulse carrot, onion, celery and garlic in a food processor until very finely chopped. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and add the vegetable mixture along with the bell pepper and mushrooms. Salt well. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the water has cooked out of the veggies and they become nicely browned. Add the tomato paste and incorporate well. Cook for 5 -10 minutes or until the tomato paste has also browned. Add the red wine and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the crushed tomatoes and seasonings, along with the sage but reserve the basil for the end.

Let the sauce cook, uncovered, over very low heat, for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours. Stir occasionally and if the sauce becomes too thick, add water and continue to cook down. Taste frequently and add salt or seasonings as necessary. When the sauce is done cooking, remove from the heat and stir in the basil.

Fontina Bechamel

1 T. unsalted butter
1 T. flour
3/4 c. milk
1 1/2 c. grated Fontina cheese
salt to taste
1/4 t. black pepper
pinch of nutmeg

Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the flour. Whisk together for 1-2 minutes. Add the milk a small amount at a time, whisking constantly to remove any lumps. When all the milk is added, bring to a simmer and whisk until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese. Season to taste.