Lasagna Bolognese

This is classic lasagna. There are steps, but you can even do them ahead of time and once the sauces are made, assembly is a snap. Steps there may be, but this is a simple recipe with simple ingredients. I always use no boil noodles, look for the Italian brands that are in smaller boxes. For a vegetarian lasagna option check out my Sweet Potato Spinach & Mushroom version

1 500 gram package no boil lasagna noodles

5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

Bolognese Sauce

1-1.5 pounds ground beef

2 carrots finely chopped

1 celery stalk finely chopped

1 small or 1/2 medium onion chopped

2-3 cloves garlic

2 tsp kosher salt

2 tbsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp chilli flakes

2 bay leaves (fresh or dried)

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup red wine

1/2 cup beef stock

1 tsp sugar

Bechamel Sauce

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup all purpose flour

4 cups milk

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

In a bowl toss shredded cheese, oregano, Parmesan and salt. Set aside.

For the Bolognese Sauce:

In large pot or Dutch oven on medium heat, brown ground beef with 1 tsp of salt & 1 tbsp oregano. Remove beef from pot leaving the drippings and set aside. Add chopped onion, carrots, celery and garlic and sauté for about 8 minutes until they are soft and onions are slightly translucent. Return beef to pot and add remaining seasoning, tomatoes, wine, stock and sugar. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

For the Bechamel:

In a medium sauce pan melt the butter on medium heat. Once butter has melted and starts to bubble add flour and whisk to form a paste (roux). Add half of the milk and whisk until mixture thickens. It should be pretty thick at this point. Add the remaining milk continuing to whisk until it returns to boil and thickens a bit. Remove the pot from the heat and add salt , nutmeg and stir well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup of the meat sauce evenly on the bottom of the baking pan. Layer your lasagna sheets(3-4) to cover the bottom. Add another 1/2 cup of sauce, 1/2 cup of bechamel, 3/4 cup cheese mixture. This will be your formula for each layer of your lasagna. On top of the last layer of pasta noodles spread the remaining meat sauce , then bechamel and top with remaining cheese. *tip: If you find you need to stretch your tomato sauce simply add a bit of water to it. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Let lasagna rest 15 minutes before serving.

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