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lasagna Bolognese with green pasta sheets

Lasagne alla bolognese


  • Author: Silvana
  • Total Time: 5 Hours
  • Yield: 6 portions 1x

Description

Lasagna alla Bolognese is a classic Italian dish that features rich and creamy ragout made with ground beef, pork belly, vegetables, and tomato sauce, layered between sheets of fresh spinach pasta and topped with a decadent béchamel sauce. This hearty and satisfying comfort food is perfect for a special occasion or a cozy family dinner.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the sauce:

  • 300 grams of finely minced beef
  • 150 grams of finely minced pancetta
  • 50 grams of carrot, finely chopped
  • 50 grams of celery stick, finely chopped
  • 50 grams of brown or pink onion, finely chopped
  • 300 grams of tomato puree or peeled tomatoes
  • 125 millilitres of dry white wine,
  • 125 millilitres of whole milk,
  • 1 liter of vegetable stock
  • olive oil or butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the lasagna:

For the béchamel:

  • 100 grams of white spelt flour
  • 100 grams of butter
  • 1 liter of fresh whole milk
  • fine salt, to taste
  • nutmeg, to taste

Instructions

Make the ragout:

  1. Start by heating up a large pan over medium heat. Add the minced pancetta and fry them until golden. Once done, remove the bacon from the pan and set it aside.

  2. In the same pan, add the olive oil or butter, along with the finely chopped celery, carrot, and onion. Cook them on low heat until they become soft and translucent. This step is crucial for achieving the right flavor and texture in the sauce.

  3. Add the minced beef and pancetta to the pan, stirring well to combine with the vegetables. Cook the meat on medium heat until it’s browned all over, making sure to break up any clumps that form.

  4. Pour in the dry white wine and stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits. Let the wine simmer until it has evaporated.

  5. Add the tomato puree or peeled tomatoes to the pan and stir well. Cover the pan and let the sauce simmer on low heat for at least two hours, adding vegetable stock if necessary to prevent it from drying out.

  6. Towards the end of cooking, pour in the whole milk and stir well. The milk helps to reduce the acidity of the tomatoes and gives the sauce a creamy texture. Keep cooking until the sauce is thick and creamy.

  7. Finally, season the Bolognese sauce with salt and pepper to taste. The sauce should have a rich, hearty flavor with a silky-smooth texture that pairs perfectly with your lasagna.

Make the lasagna sheets:

  1. Begin by wilting the spinach in a non-stick pan. Ensure not to add any water. Continuously stir the spinach to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan, and remove it from heat when it’s ready.
  2. Squeeze out as much water as possible from the spinach. A potato ricer works well for this, or use a fine sieve and spoon or a clean tea towel.
  3. Next, combine the white spelt flour, eggs, and spinach in a large mixing bowl. Knead the ingredients together for about 10-15 minutes until a smooth and uniform dough is formed. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky.
  4. Wrap the dough in cling film and let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, ideally 1 hour. This step can be done ahead of time while you prepare the ragout.
  5. Now, take the dough and roll it out into thin strips with a rolling pin. Once you have achieved the desired thickness, cut the strips into large squares using a sharp knife or pastry cutter.
  6. To cook the lasagna sheets, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and carefully add the squares of pasta to the pot. Cook them for a few seconds, or until they float to the surface.
  7. Place the cooked lasagna sheets on clean tea towels to dry off the excess water before assembling the lasagna.

Make the bechamel

  1. Begin by melting the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat.
  2. Once melted, sift the flour into the pan and use a spiral whisk to combine everything together.
  3. Cook the roux over low heat until it turns a light golden color, being careful not to burn it.
  4. Next, gradually add the milk to the roux, whisking continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
  5. Continue to whisk and cook the mixture until it thickens and becomes smooth and creamy.
  6. Once the bechamel sauce has reached the desired consistency, season it with salt, white pepper, and grated nutmeg to taste. Remember to adjust the seasoning as necessary.
  7. Finally, cover the saucepan with a tea towel and let the bechamel sauce cool down.

Assemble your lasagna

  1. Begin by lightly greasing an oven-safe dish with oil.
  2. Spoon a thin layer of béchamel sauce onto the bottom of the dish, spreading it evenly.
  3. Arrange lasagna sheets over the sauce, overlapping them slightly to create a solid base.
  4. Add a layer of ragù sauce, followed by a layer of béchamel sauce and a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese.
  5. Cover with another layer of pasta, then repeat the process of adding ragù, béchamel, and cheese until all ingredients are used up.
  6. End with a final layer of béchamel sauce and grated parmesan cheese.
  7. Cover the dish with a clean tea towel and let it rest at room temperature for an hour.
  8. Preheat the oven to 170°C/ 325°F/ Gas mark 3.
  9. Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for around thirty minutes.
  10. Remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the surface is golden.
  11. Remove the lasagna from the oven and let it cool for about 30 minutes before serving.

Notes

For those who prefer, the traditional pork meat in this recipe can be replaced with 150 grams of minced beef.

Alternatively, for those who don’t eat beef, a mixture of 30% pork and 70% lamb can be used.

It is important to use a fatty cut of meat to achieve the desired texture and flavour.

While it may be tempting to add garlic or herbs, it’s recommended to trust the recipe and avoid doing so.

For optimal flavour, preparing the ragu bolognese a day in advance is highly recommended.

Check my article 10 mistakes to avoid when making lasagna

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Rest Time: 90 minutes
  • Cook Time: 180 minutes
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: slow cooking
  • Cuisine: Italian
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