This lasagne contains one of two epic ragù recipes in this book—the other is the ultimate roasting-pan ragù—that, we believe, give any meat ragù a terrifically good run for its money.
This particular ragù pays homage to penne all’Aconese, the first dish that Ixta fell madly in love with. It’s served at Ristorante Pizzeria Acone, a community-run restaurant in the Tuscan village of Acone, perched at the top of the mountain on which she spent her formative childhood years. The recipe is a closely guarded secret, but the complex, earthy, and deeply umami flavor of dried porcini mushrooms is impossible to miss. This is our meatless take on that mythical sauce.
The ragù can easily be made vegan if you lose the cream. It can also be made ahead and refrigerated, ready to be served with pasta or polenta, saving yourself the trouble of constructing the lasagne if you’re short on time.
Pull back on the black pepper and lose the chile for a child-friendly version. If you want to get ahead, the lasagne can be assembled, refrigerated, and then baked the next day (once it has come back up to room temperature).