Simple, but Seriously Delicious: Lasagne alla Valdostana + Grosjean Vallee d'Aoste Gamay 2022
Updated: Nov 4
If you are reading this early enough, we will also be gathering for a live chat on X (formerly known as Twitter) at 8am on Saturday, November 4th. Join us! Follow the hashtag #ItalianFWT and be sure to add that to anything you post so we can see it. Here's the line-up of articles from the Italian Food Wine Travel writers...
A Fall Menu for 5 Wines from Piemonte: Cortese di Gavi, Erbaluce, Barbera, Barolo, Brachetto d’ Asti by Wine Predator...Gwendolyn Alley
Grosjean Fumin Valle d’Aosta DOC with Carbonade Valdostana & Polenta Concia by Crushed Grape Chronicles
Simple, but Seriously Delicious: Lasagne alla Valdostana + Grosjean Vallee d'Aoste Gamay 2022 by Culinary Cam (you're here)
Sweet Surprises Pairing Brachetto and BBQ by The Quirky Cork
Two Cru Wines that Celebrates the Accomplished Viticultural Heritage of Piemonte by Grapevine Adventures
Wine Braised Pork Loin and a 2019 Travaglini Gattinara by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Grosjean Vallee d'Aoste Gamay 2022
This red Italian wine comes from the Alpine area of the Valle d'Aoste. It is marked by high elevation vineyards along high mountain passes. After harvest, the grapes, which are grown biodynamically, are pressed and macerated on the skins for days before fermentation and aging in steel tanks.
The Grosjean family traces its roots back to the village of Fornet in the mountain passes of the Valle d’Aosta. The family raised cattle and, during the summer, cultivated grapes and chestnuts. In 1969, Dauphin Grosjean was encouraged to share his wine at a local expo. That launched the Grosjean family into the wine business. The estate has grown to seven hectares of vineyards, including Gamay, Pinot Noir and Petite Arvine and some local varieties such as Fumin, Cornalin, Premetta and Vuillermin. They have cultivated their vines without pesticides and herbicides since 1975. And only natural yeasts are used for fermentation.
This wine poured a brilliant ruby red. On the nose, there were notes of red fruits such as strawberries. And the delicate tannins on the palate made this a great match for a creamy, cheesy pasta dish.
Lasagne alla Valdostana
When you see 'alla Valdostana' as part of a recipe title, it means that it comes from the Aosta Valley (Val d’Aosta) and includes Fontina cheese and cooked ham. Residents have been making Fontina in the area since the 12th century. Traditionally, Fontina is made from unpasteurized cow's milk from a single milking. It's the high-fat content in the alpine cow's milk that makes it melt so well.
There are a couple different versions of Lasagne alla Valdostana - one with tomatoes and one without. This one is without tomatoes, so a kind of lasagna bianca. And it's a super simple recipe; it just has pasta, ham, Fontina cheese, parmigiano, milk, nutmeg, and white wine.
lasagna sheets, as needed for your baking dish, par-boiled, if not no-bake pasta
1-1/2 cups sliced Fontina cheese
1 cup cubed ham
1/2 cup grated parmigiano cheese
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups milk
butter as required
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg plus more for garnish
black pepper, as needed
Melt a pat of butter in a skillet. Add in the ham and cook until lightly browned. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil. Simmer until the liquid has evaporated. Set the ham aside.
Pour milk into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add in 1 cup of the Fontina and stir until melted. Fold in nutmeg and parmigiano.
Pour some of the cheese sauce into the bottom of your pan. Layer pasta, cheese sauce, and ham. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Continue until you have used all of the sauce and ham. The top layer should be the remaining 1/2 cup of Fontina and a light sprinkle of nutmeg.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover the lasagna with foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and return to the oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. The sauce should be bubbling and the top browned.
That's a wrap on my Aosta offering for November's #ItalianFWT event. The group will be back next month with a look at the wines from Lombardy with Gwendolyn of Wine Predator at the lead. Read her invitation.