Lasagna Bolognese


Rich and hearty, this is a traditional lasagna recipe typical of old country Italian cooking.  The list of ingredients may at first be a bit alarming, but I assure you that the results are well worth the effort. To simplify the preparation a bit, you could buy your fresh egg lasagna noodles and make both of your sauces the day before you put your lasagna together. I often make two lasagnas at one time, and freeze the second one for later. Simply allow the fozen lasagna to thaw completely before baking.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Lasagna Bolognese

This hearty lasagna can be prepared ahead of time and baked just before serving.

Ingredients:

Egg Pasta:

  • 3 Extra Large Eggs
  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

Bolognese Sauce:

  • 1 Medium Onion, Finely chopped
  • 2 Medium Sized Carrots, Finely Minced
  • 2 Medium Stalks of Celery, Finely Minced
  • 3 oz. Prosciutto or Pancetta, Finely Chopped
  • 6 oz. Ground Beef
  • 6 Oz. Ground Veal
  • 4 oz. Chicken Livers, Finely Chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Pound Canned or Fresh Prepared Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup dry White Wine
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Pinch Of Nutmeg
  • Pinch Of Dried Hot Peppers
  • 3/4 Cup Beef Broth
  • 1/2 to 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream

Bechamel Sauce:

  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 Cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Cups Milk
  • Salt
  • Dash of Nutmeg

Additional Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Fresh Mozzarella
  • 1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  1. For the pasta, mound the flour onto a large board, making a hollow in the center.
  2. Break the eggs one at a time, mixing the egg into the flour with a fork.
  3. Once all the eggs have been incorporated into the flour, begin to knead with your hands until the dough is stiff and elastic.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 30 minutes before using.
  5. For the Bolognese sauce, heat the butter and oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
  6. Add the chopped vegetables and saute until softened.
  7. Add the ground and chopped meats and cook for about 10 minutes or until the meat is fully cooked and browned bits begin to form along the bottom.
  8. Add the wine to the pot and let evaporate, stirring up the browned bits.
  9. Add the tomatoes and simmer for around 30 minutes.
  10. Season to taste, and add 1/2 of the broth.
  11. Cover and simmer another 45 minutes, adding additional broth if the sauce becomes too thick.
  12. Taste the sauce and add additional seasoning if needed.
  13. Add enough cream to lighten the color in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  14. Remove from heat.
  15. For the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a heavy saucepan add the flour and cook for a minute or two.
  16. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps.
  17. Continue cooking until the sauce thickens.
  18. Season with salt, white pepper and a dash of nutmeg.
  19. Set aside to cool, placing a greased piece of plastic wrap on top to prevent film from forming.
  20. For the lasagna, cook the pasta sheets in boiling water for 10 seconds only, then immediately submerge in cold water.
  21. Pour in a little of the meat sauce into a 13 by 8 inch lasagna pan.
  22. Layer the noodles along the bottom, and spread with a layer of the meat sauce, then another layer of noodles.
  23. Spread a layer of béchamel over these noodles then sprinkle with a little of the mozzarella and the parmesan cheese.
  24. Continue in this manner until all the noodles are used, topping the dish with the final layer of béchamel layer and cheeses.
  25. Dot the top with butter and bake in 375 degree over for about 40 minutes or until bubbling and lightly browned.