Sunday Supper (Fall Favorites): Lasagna Bolognese
My favorite aspect of Fall is how we all begin to crave some down-home cooking. Summer is for eating light and grilling everything. However, once the leaves begin to turn color and scatter, we break out the slow cooker, baked recipes and enjoy our Nonna recipes that keep us sated and warm, inside and out.
I’ve said in past posts how my mother’s brodo (tomato sauce) pops up in many of her recipes so I always have it on hand. First, I make a big batch of brodo on Saturday, divvy it up into Tupperware and store it in the freezer. Then, when I want to make a recipe, like Pasta Bolognese, I get fresh ground meat, pancetta frying up in the pan and add my brodo for a killer pasta sauce.
If I want to make an extra special dinner, I take it one step further, I make besciamella and roll out fresh lasagna sheets. These components come together for a truly stand out dish, Lasagna Bolognese.
If you don’t want to make fresh pasta, the grocery store now carries ‘fresh’ lasagna sheets that you can buy. I like them more than the dry pasta sheets because they almost melt into the other ingredients. It tastes much better.
Lasagna Bolognese is a labor of love recipe. However, if your brodo is already made, it doesn’t take that long and the results are well worth the work.
Serves 6 to 8
4 cups Bolognese sauce (get the recipe here)
Bescimella * recipe follows
9 lasagna sheets or 1 package fresh lasagna sheets
1 cup parmigiano cheese
sliced fresh mozzarella, optional
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup flour
3 cups whole milk, warmed
1 cup parmigiano cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Make Bolognese sauce (without ricotta cheese garnish) and besiciamella. To make besciamella sauce, in a large pot, melt butter. Add flour and whisk until a light brown roux forms. Slowly add warmed milk, whisking constantly until a thick sauce is created. It should coat the back of a spoon. Add 1 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese. Add the besciamella to the Bolognese sauce and mix gently to combine the two.
In a large lasagna pan (9x13 works best) add a layer of your sauce. Place three lasagna sheets down. Cover layers with more meat sauce and continue this process until all the sheets are used. Top layer should be a thick layer of sauce and then grate additional parmigiano on top. Cover with foil.
Bake for 30 minutes
After 30 minutes you can add fresh mozzarella and place under the broiler for another 5 minutes or just sprinkle a bit more parmigiano on top and serve. I prefer the latter.