This Lasagna Bolognese is absolutely droolworthy! Homemade bolognese and bechamel sauces make this a lasagna you’ll never forget!
Folks. This Lasagna Bolognese. It’s amazing!
If you’re a regular follower of the blog, you know me pretty well by now right? Obviously, I love everything I share with you guys here at the BHK or I wouldn’t be sharing it, but seldom do I say it’s the best thing I’ve ever made. Well, today I’m breaking tradition, because this Lasagna Bolognese is the BEST!
My love for bolognese sauce runs deep. It has always been one of my favorite comfort foods. On the site, I’ve shared my Bucatini Bolognese and my Bolognese Bake, both total hits with my family and friends.
When it comes to lasagna, for some crazy reason both my boys have an aversion to ricotta cheese, so I never make homemade lasagna with ricotta. I make mine with a rich and creamy bechamel sauce. And I up the flavor by using my homemade bolognese instead of tomato sauce. I use my regular recipe for bolognese sauce with a few minor tweaks. Take it from me, once you try lasagna this way, you’ll NEVER, ever turn back.
I’m not gonna lie, making homemade lasagna is somewhat labor intensive. There are a few steps that must be taken before it all comes so beautifully and deliciously together. But what’s great about this recipe is that it can be made in advance. I make the bolognese sauce a day or two ahead of time so all the flavors meld together. And you can assemble the lasagna in the morning, cover it with foil and place in the refrigerator before you’re ready to bake it. It’s perfect for feeding a crowd too.
I see it as a labor of love. And thinking ahead to Valentine’s Day, this is one dish that your Valentine will LOVE you for making, no buts about it! And isn’t the special love of your life worth it?! Enjoy!
- Bolognese Sauce:
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups onions, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
- 2 cups celery, finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
- 1 pound meatloaf mix, beef/pork/veal
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground pepper
- Bechamel Sauce:
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup one stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 lb. fresh lasagna sheets
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- Garnish: 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped, if desired
Bolognese Sauce: Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Saute for about 10 minutes until vegetables begin to brown. Increase the heat to high and add the pancetta. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the meatloaf mix and the ground pork and continue to cook until meat is no longer pink, breaking up meat with a fork. Add the milk and cook, stirring often until most of the milk is cooked down, about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock and white wine. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 1 hour, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato paste and mix until incorporated. Continue to cook for 20 more minutes. Season with the salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
Bechamel Sauce: Add the milk to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In another saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 minute, whisking often. Slowly whisk in the milk a ladle at a time. Increase the heat to medium low and simmer, whisking often until the sauce is smooth and thickened, about 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a large deep 13x9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Assembling the lasagna: Spread about 3/4 cup bolognese in bottom of dish. Top with lasagna sheets overlapping slightly. I used O'Sole Mio fresh lasagna sheets from my grocery's refrigerated section. The sheets are about 5x9 inches. For each layer of pasta I used three sheets. Two full sheets, and then I cut another sheet into two pieces to cover the additional space. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the parmesan and 3/4 cup of the shredded mozzarella. Top with about 2 cups of the bolognese, spreading with a rubber spatula, then 1 cup of the bechamel, also spreading with the rubber spatula to the edges.Repeat pasta, parm, mozzarella, bolognese, bechamel two more times. Finish with a layer of pasta, the remaining bechamel, and then the remaining bolognese. I like to place a few scoops of the bolognese randomly on top of the bechamel and then just slightly spread. Then sprinkle remaining shredded mozzarella, also in random clumps here and there on top, then a sprinkle of the remaining parm. Dot the top of the lasagna with the small cubes of butter.
Cover with foil and place baking dish on a large baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes covered, then remove the foil and continue to bake for 15 minutes uncovered until lightly browned and until the sauce is bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Cut into squares and serve immediately.