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Playing Lasagna Joes


For the Sloppy Lasagna Filling and Topping:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 3/4 pounds ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white or red wine
  • 1 cup beef or chicken stock
  • 1 cup passata or tomato purée
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • A few leaves of basil, torn
  • 3/4 cup fresh cow or sheep’s milk ricotta
For the Garlic Rolls:
  • For the Garlic Rolls: About 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 6 sesame semolina rolls or ciabatta rolls, split


Serves: 6


For the filling, heat olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and stir a minute or two; add beef and brown and crumble. Add onions, garlic and chili pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomato paste and stir 1 minute; add wine and stir. Add stock, tomato purée or passata and milk, and reduce heat; stir in basil. Simmer to thicken and combine flavors, about 15-20 minutes.

To serve, make garlic bread rolls for your sloppy beef: Heat oil in a small pan over medium heat. Melt butter into oil. When it foams, add garlic and swirl 1-2 minutes; remove from heat. Stir parsley into butter. Lightly toast rolls in a hot oven or under the broiler. Brush rolls with garlic butter and sprinkle cheese over rolls, return to oven 1 minute or place under broiler for 30 seconds or so to set cheese.

Serve filling on rolls topped with a few tablespoons of ricotta.