Lasagna Alla Bolognese 8.000

Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post

Dec 22, 2017

Extravagant and rich, this is the lasagna of your dreams, with a sauce made from ground meat slowly simmered in broth and milk. To simplify the process, make the bechamel and Bolognese sauces in advance.

To read the accompanying story, see: Real lasagna is a culinary marvel worth every minute of your time.

Make Ahead: Refrigerate the meat sauce in a tightly lidded container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 6 months. Reheat on low, adding water as needed to loosen the sauce. The assembled, unbaked lasagna can be wrapped (in its baking dish) in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil, and frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. Remember to remove the plastic wrap and re-cover with foil before baking.


Servings:
8 - 10

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8-10 servings

Ingredients
  • For the meat sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed well and finely chopped
  • 1 large rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 pound ground veal
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Fine salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • One 7-ounce can plain tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces mortadella, finely chopped
  • For the lasagna
  • 1 pound Fresh Spinach Pasta for Lasagna (see related recipe)
  • 3 cups Bechamel Sauce (see related recipe)
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Salt, for the pasta cooking water

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Directions

For the meat sauce: Heat the butter and oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once the melted butter begins to sizzle, stir in the carrot, celery, onion and parsley. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and golden. Mix in the beef, pork and veal and use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the large pieces of meat. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the meat has turned a deep brown and is crumbly but still tender. This will take longer than you think -- at least 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

When the meat is ready, increase the heat to medium-high; add the wine, stirring for a minute or two until it is absorbed. Return the heat to medium-low and season with about 1 teaspoon salt, a light pinch of pepper and the nutmeg. Stir in the milk and cook until it has been mostly absorbed, about 3 minutes.

Dilute the tomato paste in a little of the beef broth in a small bowl and add it to the pot. Add the remaining broth and mix well. Cover partially, reduce the heat to low, and let simmer slowly for 2 hours or more, until it is very thick and all of the vegetables have more or less melted into the sauce. Stir in the cream and mortadella and cook at a gentle simmer until heated through.

The sauce is ready to use or you can cool and transfer to a container; refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

For the lasagna: Spread a clean tablecloth on a table or clean flat surface near the stove. Have ready the uncooked pasta, bechamel, Bolognese sauce and Parmigiano cheese.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch lasagna or baking dish (or 2 smaller baking dishes) with the butter.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat and salt generously (as in, 3 or 4 pinches of salt). Set a large bowl of ice water near the stove for briefly immersing the parboiled lasagna noodles.

Carefully drop in 4 or 5 lasagna noodles at a time, taking care not to crowd the pot. Boil for about 1 minute; the noodles cook quickly and should be slightly underdone. Use a large skimmer to transfer them to the ice-water bath. Swish them around, then use the skimmer to transfer them to the tablecloth, where you will spread them out flat.

Spread a thin layer of bechamel in the bottom of the lasagna dish. Arrange a single layer of noodles over the sauce. Spread a second layer of bechamel over the noodles and top with a layer of Bolognese sauce. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top. Gently press a second layer of noodles on top, followed by bechamel, Bolognese sauce and Parm. Continue with at least 4 more layers of noodles, bechamel, Bolognese and cheese. You should have at least six layers of noodles in this lasagna.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake (middle rack) for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 to 20 more minutes, or until the lasagna is bubbling and the top is browned and crunchy at the edges. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author Domenica Marchetti.

Tested by Domenica Marchetti.

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