Anna Hezel’s debut cookbook, Lasagna, is a master class in everyone’s favorite pasta. This porchetta-spiced pork version is a labor of love — dedicate a weekend to making it.

Ingredients

Makes 8–12 servings
Classic & Simple Red Sauce:
  • 1 (28-oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 (28-oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 dried bay leaf

Porchetta-Spiced Pork
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 lbs trimmed boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp coarse kosher salt (preferably Diamond Crystal)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • 1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 3 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 dried bay leaves

Lasagna
  • 2 lbs (about 4 cups) ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, more for garnish
  • 2 oz (1/2 cup) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb (4 cups) low-moisture mozzarella cheese (not fresh), shredded
  • 2 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 4 c. Classic & Simple Red Sauce, warm
  • 15 dry, curly lasagna noodles, cooked and cooled
Cookware Used
The Dutchess
6.75-Quart Cast-Iron Dutch Oven
$160
Shop Now
Saucy
8.5-Inch Stainless Steel Sauce Pan
$105
Shop Now
The Whole Grain Family
3-Piece Wooden Utensil Set
$75
Shop Now

Make the red sauce:

  • Using kitchen shears, cut the tomatoes in the can until finely chopped.
  • Heat the olive oil in Saucy (or a large saucepan) over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring gently, until the paste darkens slightly, 1–2 minutes.
  • Add the canned tomatoes and their juices, the sugar, oregano, bay leaf, and 2 cups water.
  • Break up any large pieces of tomato with a spoon. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper and bring to a boil.
  • Cover Saucy partially, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the sauce is thick and reduced to about 4 1/2 cups, 35–40 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaf.

The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.


Make the porchetta-spiced pork:

  • In The Dutchess (or any Dutch oven), heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes.
  • Season the pork with the salt and black pepper and cook in batches, turning the pieces as needed, until they are browned and crusty all over, 8–10 minutes.
  • Transfer the browned pork to a plate with a slotted spoon and brown the remaining meat, adding the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pot. Transfer to the plate when done.
  • Meanwhile, place the chopped garlic, fennel seeds, and chopped rosemary on a cutting board and continue to chop them together until uniformly fine.
  • Add the mixture, along with the red pepper flakes, to the pot used to cook the pork, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, 2–3 minutes.
  • Return the meat to the pot along with any accumulated juices.
  • Add the broth and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until the pork is very tender, about 1 hour.
  • Discard the bay leaves and transfer the pork to a bowl. Spoon off as much fat from the surface as possible and boil the remaining liquid over medium-low heat until reduced to a few tablespoons, 5–6 minutes.
  • Return the pork to the pot and cook, stirring, over low heat until the liquid is nearly evaporated, about 3 minutes.
  • Using a wooden spoon or two forks, coarsely shred the pork and transfer the mixture to a bowl.


Make the cheese mixture:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, parsley, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, and two thirds of the mozzarella (reserve the remaining cheese for the top) and season with the salt and black pepper.
  • Add the egg and stir to combine.


Assemble the lasagna:

  • Spread 1/2 cup of the red sauce in the bottom of the same Dutchess.
  • Arrange the noodles in a single layer, overlapping slightly, in the dish.
  • Top with 1/2 cup of the red sauce.
  • Spoon half of the ricotta mixture on top, spreading to an even layer.
  • Top with half of the shredded pork.
  • Arrange more noodles on top, followed by another 1/2 cup red sauce, the remaining ricotta mixture, and the remaining pork.
  • Arrange the remaining noodles on top, pressing to compact slightly, and spread with 1 1/2 cups red sauce.


Bake the lasagna:

  • Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan on top and bake until the top is browned and crusty around the edges and bubbling, about 45 minutes.
  • Let the lasagna rest for 20 minutes before cutting into squares.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve the remaining red sauce on the side.

Photos by Noah Fecks

Reprinted with permission from Lasagna: A Baked Pasta Cookbook by Anna Hezel and the Editors of TASTE, copyright © 2019. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

 Photos by Noah Fecks

Photos by Noah Fecks.