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indecently luxurious lasagna

It's a speciality of Macerata and the central Marche. They say it really impressed an Austrian general named Windisch-Grätz when he passed through during the Napoleonic Wars, so they named it after him. It's just a story, unfortunately. To an Italian vincisgrassi sounds like 'the fat wins', and indeed caloric overload is the whole point of the dish.

Vincisgrassi is made with alternating layers of bechamel sauce, lasagna sheets and a sauce. For this, start with a soffrito of finely chopped garlic, onion, carrot and celery, add ground beef and pork, tomatoes, chicken giblets and livers and parmesan. Throw in a little mozzarella to make it even richer.

That's the simple version. Other recipes may also involve boiling bones for stock, heavy cream, Marsala, wild mushrooms, a little nutmeg, a cockscomb and the kitchen sink.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Image by lemarcheinmondo