Lasagna Bolognese is perhaps the meatiest and most savory lasagna in existence! The noodles are tender, the bechamel is creamy, rich, and luscious, and the seasonings are herbaceous, but it’s the homemade slow-cooked ragu is the real star of the show: it’s filled with juicy beef and pork in a mellow and sweet tomato sauce, with pieces of prosciutto and mushroom to enhance the meat flavor. Lasagna Bolognese takes patience to perfect, but the result is a perfect meal!

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Ingredients

For the ragu:

  • 1 cup porcini mushrooms, dried
  • 10 ounces white button mushrooms
  • 2 carrots, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 (6 ounce) piece prosciutto, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 5 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup cognac or brandy
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes

For the bechamel:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, or to taste
  • 6 cups whole milk

For the lasagna:

  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds lasagna sheets
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2-3 cups parmesan, grated
  • 4-5 cups mozzarella or fontina, grated

Directions

Step 1 –Soak the porcini mushrooms in hot water until soft, about 30 minutes.

Step 2 –Drain the mushrooms, but reserve the liquid for later.

Step 3 –Finely chop the porcini mushrooms and white button mushrooms in a food processor, and place the mixture in a mixing bowl.

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Step 4 –Add the carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, and prosciutto to the food processor, pulsing until finely chopped.

Step 5 –In a large pot over high heat, heat the oil.

Step 6 –Add the ground beef and ground pork and cook until browned, about 6-8 minutes.

Step 7 –Transfer the meat into a bowl.

Step 8 –Add the wine to the pot and scrape up the browned bits at the bottom.

Step 9 –Add the wine mixture to the bowl with the meat.

Step 10 –Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in the pot.

Step 11 –Reduce the heat to medium-high

Step 12 –Add in the onion, the carrot mixture, the rosemary, the bay leaves, and the salt.

Step 13 –Allow the mixture to cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 12 minutes.

Step 14 –Add the tomato paste and the mushroom mixture and cook, stirring constantly, about 8 minutes.

Step 15 –Return the meat mixture to the pot.

Step 16 –Add the cognac and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.

Step 17 –Add the 2 cups of the water and the liquid from the mushroom soaking.

Step 18 –With your hands, crush the tomatoes over the pot.

Step 19 –Allow the pot to simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Step 20 –Allow the ragu to cool entirely.

Step 21 –Over medium heat, melt the 3/4 of the butter in a saucepan.

Step 22 –Add in the flour, nutmeg, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper.

Step 23 –Whisk while cooking for 2-3 minutes.

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Step 24 –Slowly whisk in the milk and cook until thickened, about 5-10 minutes.

Step 25 –Reduce the heat to low and whisk for 10 minutes.

Step 26 –Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Step 27 –In a wide saucepan, bring a few inches of water to a boil.

Step 28 –Fill a large bowl with ice water.

Step 29 –Boil the pasta in batches until partially cooked, about 4 minutes or according to package directions.

Step 30 –Transfer the partially cooked pasta to the ice water.

Step 31 –Remove the cooled pasta sheets from the ice water, shaking off the water.

Step 32 –Arrange the pasta in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Step 33 –Prepare an 11×13 baking dish by brushing the sides and bottom of the dish with the remaining butter.

Step 34 –Spread 1/2 cup of the ragu in the prepared pan.

Step 35 –Cover the ragu in the pan with a layer of the pasta, followed by 1/3 cup of the parmesan and 2/3 cup of the mozzarella.

Step 36 –Spread 1 1/2 cups of ragu over the cheese.

Step 37 –Top with 1 cup of the bechamel.

Step 38 –Repeat the layers with the remaining pasta, ragu, cheeses, and bechamel, topping the lasagna with the bechamel and the remaining parmesan and mozzarella.

Step 39 –Place the lasagna on a baking sheet to catch any drips.

Step 40 –Bake until bubbly and golden, about 40 minutes.

Step 41 –Let the Lasagna Bolognese rest for a full 30 minutes before serving.