In this traditional Italian lasagna, the savory bolognese sauce and the creamy besciamella come together in a perfectly cheesy, meaty and saucy dish. So yummy!
This classic Italian oven-baked pasta is unmatchable. Don't get scared by the long list of ingredients. It is not hard to prepare! But it can be a bit time consuming. No worries though, all the time spent on this is well worth your while!
You will need to prepare the bolognese sauce first,which takes at least an hour, and then the besciamella (white) sauce, which is much faster. When these sauces are ready, you will just juggle all the ingredients, add some cheese and pasta at the right time, and end up with the perfect lasagna. The creamy and soft besciamella together with the flavorful and savory bolognese sauce will make this lasagna to die for. No ricotta cheese is needed, only lots of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Here is a step-by-step recipe:
Ingredients: to make 13 x 9 inch lasagna.
For the Bolognese sauce: to make about 6 cups (1.5 quart)
- half onion
- 1 small carrot (or 6 baby carrots)
- 1 small celery stalk
- 1 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/2 lb of ground beef
- 1/2 lb of ground pork
- 1 can of 28 oz crushed tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
- 3/4 cup of white wine
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 1 whole clove (optional)
- 6 cups of milk
- 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 1.25 cup of all-purpose flour
- salt to taste
- 1/3 teaspoon of grated nutmeg
- about 16 oz mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup of Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 box of oven-ready lasagna pasta - I ended up needing 2 extra lasagna sheets from another box.. I use Barilla
Preparation time: about 2 hours
Step 1: Start by preparing the bolognese sauce following this recipe, using the quantities listed above.You can always prepare this ahead of time and refrigerate (or freeze).
Step 2: When there are about 15 minutes left before the bolognese sauce is ready, prepare the besciamella sauce following this recipe. using the quantities listed above.
Step 3: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and start assembling the lasagna. In an oven pan, add a couple of tablespoons of besciamella for the bottom, add a layer of pasta, topped with some bolognese sauce (about 1.5 cups), about one forth of the mozzarella, and some besciamella.
Step 4: Repeat the same layers three more times (if you can!): pasta, bolognese sauce, besciamella and mozzarella. Then on top (the last layer): only pasta, besciamella and all the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with small pieces of butter.
Step 5: Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes. Move the pan to the higher part of the oven, so that the Parmesan cheese melts and forms a nice golden layer.
Step 6: Let cool down for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving. This will allow the besciamella sauce to set a little, and not run off the plate making the lasagne too soft. You can also prepare the lasagna ahead of time, and warm it up (really hot!!) before serving. In this case you don't need to wait before cutting and serving.