Lasagna Bolognese; the ‘OTHER’ Lasagna

Scroll to end of this post for a printable recipe.

Who doesn’t love a thick, steaming hunk of perfectly textured pasta sheets layered with a well-seasoned combination of ricotta cheese, herbs and seasonings (with or without eggs to bind, but that’s another post or, uhh debate), lots of creamy, gooey mozzarella cheese, and a rich, meaty or just rich, perfectly seasoned tomato sauce? I know I do I do. However, this post, although about lasagna, isn’t about that lasagna. This post is about something just as yummy, but in a different way; something I feel is incredibly underrated here in America.

Lasagna Bolognese aka Lasagne alla Bolognese

This kind of lasagna seems simple enough; pasta sheets, 2 sauces, and some Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Piece of cake, right? Well, not if you want one bite to cause your knees to buckle.

Lasagna Bolognese - everything from scratch..like a Nonna would make it.After we ate our fill, I wrapped and put the rest of the lasagna in the fridge overnight so I’d have a nice, solid piece for photos.  I now wish I didn’t do that since the sauces firmed up (especially the bechamel), taking away the saucy oozing factor; the best part!  I should have reheated it for these photos.

The main ingredient of Lasagna Bolognese is, of course, the Bolognese sauce, which originated in..well, Bologna, Italy. It’s obvious by the name, but I honestly didn’t know that for sure until I looked it up. This is a sauce that consists of some kind of ground meat or a combo of ground meats, a mirepoix (diced celery, carrots and onions), some nice pancetta or prosciutto, milk and/or cream, white or red wine, a meat broth or stock, such as chicken (unless you’re vegetarian or vegan, in which you’d use vegetable stock or broth and in lieu of the meat, maybe a nice, meaty mushroom, like chopped portobellos), and just enough tomato, whether it be broken up whole San Marzano tomatoes, puree, or either of those combined with tomato paste, depending on your taste. I add more tomato than a traditional Bolognese sauce because I like it that way. The meaty flavor still dominates, so nothing is lost or diluted.

That being said, some like to add cinnamon, cloves and herbs such as basil and oregano, which is great, but not authentic. Also, it’s not meant to be a ‘saucy’ sauce, but rather a really concentrated meaty sauce of sorts. It’s thick, it’s rich, and if you want it just right, simmer it for hours with extra TLC.

The other sauce in Lasagna Bolognese is Bechamel, which all of you foodies and chefs out there know is the ‘mother’ sauce for many other sauces such as Mornay, and ironically, (when pertaining to this recipe), it originated in France. This sauce is simple; a blonde roux made with equal parts butter and flour, whole milk, and seasoning(s). That’s it. In Lasagna Bolognese, France and Italy go exceptionally well together, so much so, that I think they should merge into one really tasty country. Fritaly?

The last two components are the pasta and cheese. No mozzarella (sorry, although you could add it if you want), but one of the best cheeses to ever grace this earth; Parmigiano-Reggiano (You could substitute less pricey domestic Parmesans, or even Romano or Pecorino Romano, but NOT that stuff in the green can!). Sharp, complex, nutty, slightly sweet, and just salty enough; it’s the king of the hard grating cheeses.

As for the pasta, you just HAVE to make it from scratch for this recipe. If you’re going to go to all the trouble to make the Bolognese, a fresh, homemade pasta will send the final result to the moon. If you can find freshly made lasagna sheets at your local Italian grocery or deli, by all means, get some, but this time, I’m doing it myself; the old fashioned way (showing hands; spirit fingers!). No food processor on this blog today!

To get started, I have to credit Francois-Xavier and his incredible blog, FXCuisine for my sudden need to start making this the ‘right’ way, every step from scratch, no dried lasagna noodles from a box. I stumbled upon it when I was looking for some interesting ways to kick a basic lasagna up. Even though I’ve made Lasagna Bolognese many times. and was blessed with a fantastic, handed down recipe for Bolognese sauce, what I saw literally made me gasp with awe and excitement, not to mention, drool a bit.

Francois, I hope this makes you proud, although I’m sorry, I can’t, just can’t add the chicken livers, not even for you.

Lasagna Bolognese

Okay, let’s start with the Bolognese sauce. I didn’t take step-by-step-photos of this process because this post would end up being longer than a moonshot by Babe Ruth. However, here’s a terrible photo of it after being simmered for about 4 to 5 hours, along with the recipe. I usually make this a day ahead, which gives the flavors more time to blend in the fridge.

Homemade Bolognese Sauce, cooked long and slow for Lasagna Bolognese or just on pasta or with bread. The most amazing meat sauce you'll ever taste!
Lasagna Bolognese (scroll to the end of this post for a printable recipe)

Bolognese sauce (make another half of this recipe for a 6 layer lasagna)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 oz pancetta or prosciutto di parma, chopped
  • 2 lbs ground beef, OR a combo or ground veal, pork and beef, or two of the three, equaling 2 lbs.
  • 28 ounces canned San Marzano tomatoes,- drained and the juice and seeds squeezed from each tomato and discarded
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 2 large celery stalks, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red or white wine (your preference)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, heated with cream prior to adding
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, heated with milk prior to adding
  • 1 cup chicken stock, or beef stock, or veal stock, or a combo of beef stock and chicken stock to make one cup, heated prior to adding.
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Heat the oil and butter in a large dutch oven or oven proof pot with a cover, then add the onion, celery, and carrot and cook over medium heat until the onion turns pale gold. Add the pancetta or prosciutto, and let it cook down until most of the fat has rendered out, then add the minced garlic, and cook for another minute or two, being careful not to burn the garlic.

2. Pushing the carrots, onions, celery, garlic and pancetta off to the side of the pan (or removing it to a plate for time being), add the beef or combo of ground meats, and let sear until brown (s very important step for flavor)..then start breaking it up and letting it cook until most of the juices have evaporated. Add or push the veggies and pancetta back in with the meat, and let it cook together for another few minutes, until almost dry.

3. Turn the heat up to high and add the white or red wine, scraping up the ‘fond’ (aka flavor aka deglazing) from the bottom of the pan, then let the wine cook down until almost evaporated.

4. Turn your burner down to medium heat and add the tomatoes, breaking them up as you stir them in (or just squeeze them with your hands in a bowl prior to adding them), and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes, while stirring and scraping from the bottom of the pan.

5. Add the stock, cook for 1 minute, and then add the milk and cream and bring to a boil.

6.   Now, you can either let the bolognese simmer on the stove top, uncovered, for about 3 to 5 hours, stirring and keeping watch, OR, do as I learned from Francois at FXCuisine.  It’s so much easier and no burning on the bottom without constant stirring.

Preheat your oven to 250 F while preparing the sauce on the stove top. Bring the bolognese to a boil, then cover and put it in the oven. Let it cook anywhere from 2 to 4 hours (check every hour after 2 to see if it’s cooked down enough for your taste. Also, give it a stir every hour from the start). It should be thick and meaty (thick like oatmeal), with barely any juice or ‘sauciness’. Taste for seasonings, such as salt and pepper.  This is so concentrated and flavorful; I only needed to add some ground black pepper.

NOTE – If you want a faster sauce, preheat the oven to 350 F and only cook it for about 1 to 2 hours at the most.

7.  If you like, remove half or a quarter of the sauce to a separate pot or bowl and use an immersion blender to break it down a little, then add it back into the original sauce and let it cook on the stove top so it reduces down a little more.

Let sauce cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to assemble the lasagna.

Pasta dough

Now, you may have a recipe you prefer, but here’s mine, which I think is ideal for this lasagna since it’s basic (no salt, no oil, water etc)  and it doesn’t need it since the sauces are so rich and flavorful. Also, you may have to double this recipe, or make another half of the recipe to get enough lasagna noodles for 5 to 6 layers. If you want a basic 3-layer lasagna, the below pasta dough recipe will make more than enough pasta sheets for 3 layers.

  • 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups 00 or All-Purpose flour.
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk

1.  Mound the flour on a sturdy board, and make a decent sized well in the middle (think volcano). Crack the eggs into a bowl, and add the egg yolk, to insure no shell gets into the ‘well’. Pour the eggs and yolk into the well and beat very carefully until uniform, making sure you keep those walls of flour intact to hold the pool of beaten eggs in. You don’t want your volcano erupting! OK, I admit it, my ‘volcano’ did start to erupt, but fortunately, I was able to save it in time with some masterful bench scraping. Which brings me to that tip – have a bench scraper on hand just in case!

Homemade Pasta Dough for Lasagna
2. Slowly start to incorporate the flour into the beaten eggs until you have a soft dough. Start to knead the dough, adding more flour from your original ‘volcano’ (You most probably won’t be incorporating all the flour from the volcano into the dough, DO NOT try to force it all in, as you’ll end up with a dry, crumbly bunch of pieces that won’t hold together, and tough pasta to boot), to get a nice, firm but smooth and elastic dough, about 10 minutes.

You can also add the formed dough to your food processor/robocoupe, and finish it off there with a 30 second to 1 minute pulse/run. You can even make the whole dough in the food processor, but you’d have to start out with a lot less flour, and slowly add it to the beaten eggs as the machine is running, until it’s reached the right consistency. However, like I said above..I prefer the old-fashioned way for this lasagna since you’ve already put so much TLC into everything else.

Homemade Pasta Dough for Lasagna

3.  Once the dough is nice, smooth, and yellow to light yellow, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it sit for 20 minutes or more. I refrigerate mine overnight then let it come to room temperature before I start cutting off pieces and rolling, but then again, as mentioned above, I do everything but the bechamel and the rolling of the pasta sheets the day before I make the Lasagna Bolognese.

Homemade Pasta Dough for Lasagna

4. When the dough is ready, start a large pot of water to boiling, (adding salt once it comes to a full boil). Break off or cut off about a golf ball or larger size piece and flatten in your hand, folding it into a small rectangle. (Cover the remaining dough with plastic wrap until you need to cut off another piece).

5. Set your pasta machine at the widest setting, and run it through several times (you may have to flour the piece of dough lightly and sporadically to prevent sticking). Your sort of kneading it again, and making it nice and smooth for the final run through(s). Once it feels silky enough, flour it lightly and turn the knob up to number 2, and run it through a few times, then 3 (this is where I usually stop as you don’t want the sheets too thin since you want some bite to the lasagna and  it’ll be cooking in the oven for about an hour).

Leave your sheets rustic; no trimming (this is down home Italian comfort food, not haute cuisine) and set them somewhere to dry, like a very lightly floured pan, drooping them over the rim, or hang them over some kind of rack. You don’t want them to dry too long since you want them as fresh as possible.

Homemade Pasta Dough for LasagnaHomemade Pasta Dough for Lasagna
6.  Once you’ve finished, add the pasta sheets, about two to three at a time to the salted, boiling water. Let cook for only 40-50 seconds at most. Immediately transfer them to a large bowl of ice water, using a strainer of some sort (I use a Chinese bamboo skimmer/ strainer), keeping that water in the pot at a rolling boil.  Keep repeating with the rest of the pasta sheets, adding more cold water to the bowl (you may have to use two bowls if the one you have isn’t big enough for all that pasta) each time you add more of the semi-cooked sheets. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of this exciting step! Heh.

7.  Once you’re finished, strain the pasta sheets and place them on a VERY lightly oiled pan (or one with a silpat) to dry. Then cover with plastic wrap until you’re ready to assemble.

Bechamel Sauce (make another half of this recipe for a 6 layer lasagna)

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup of All-Purpose flour
  • 4 cups of whole milk
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • freshly grated nutmeg

1. Heat the milk until almost boiling in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. In a separate pot melt the unsalted butter over low heat, then add the flour all at once. Stir rapidly with a whisk. Cook until you have a uniform blonde roux; do NOT let it brown, even a little. We’re not making gumbo here. 😉

Homemade Bechamel Sauce for Lasagna Bolognese

2. Slowly add the hot milk to the roux in increments, whisking until the roux absorbs each 1/2 to 1 cup of hot milk, in which you’ll keep getting a thicker and thicker paste which will soon start to turn into a sauce. Once you’ve added all the milk, you’ll have a nice, white, creamy lump-free sauce that should coat the back of a spoon.

Homemade Bechamel Sauce for Lasagna Bologneselas9-1

3. Season with salt, pepper, and a few grates of fresh, whole nutmeg (not too much..taste as you grate). Set aside to cool until you’re ready to assemble the lasagna.

Homemade Bechamel Sauce for Lasagna Bolognese

Now it’s time to assemble the lasagna. Get your ‘mise en place’ together – the two sauces, the partially cooked and dry lasagna sheets, and about two cups of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. By the way, don’t throw out the rind of the cheese because it makes a great flavor enhancer for soups, sauces, stews, rice etc. Of course you don’t eat the rind once it’s served its purpose.

Mise en Place for Lasagna Bolognese

From YOUR left to right. The Bechamel sauce, the Bolognese sauce, the freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and the partially cooked lasagna sheets. Here’s a closer look at that incredible cheese. If I had a better camera and natural light, it would look a lot better.

Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese for Lasagna Bolognese

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

First start with a light layer of sauce on the bottom of a deep 13 x 9 or 10 x 15 baking dish. (I make this lasagna about 5-6 layers deep, but 3 or 4 layers is fine).  You can leave the pasta dough as is, as those amounts are just about right for 3 or 4 layers, and as mentioned above, I usually double that or make another half of the recipe to make 5 or 6 layers. Top the sauce with a few lasagna sheets or whatever amount covers since you’ve kept your lasagna sheets ‘rustic’. Cut sheets in half, if need be.

Lasagna Bolognese - everything from scratch..like a Nonna would make it.
Top the sheets with a heavier layer of the Bolognese.

Lasagna Bolognese - everything from scratch..like a Nonna would make it.
Next a layer of Bechamel sauce.

Lasagna Bolognese - everything from scratch..like a Nonna would make it.
Top the Bechamel with some of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and then another layer of pasta sheets, then lather, rinse, repeat, until you’ve used up all the sauces, pasta sheets and cheese, ending with the sauces and cheese.

Lasagna Bolognese - everything from scratch..like a Nonna would make it.Lasagna Bolognese - everything from scratch..like a Nonna would make it.

Now it’s ready for the oven. Bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes to an hour. After 30-40 minutes, start checking if it’s ready by sticking a long, thin knife into the center. If the knife comes out hot, it’s ready. Lukewarm, keep cooking. If the top starts to get too brown during the 45 minutes to 1 hour of cooking, cover with aluminum foil for the remainder of the baking time.

Lasagna Bolognese - everything from scratch..like a Nonna would make it.

Below is the lasagna right from the oven. I know you’ll want to attack this immediately, but let it sit for about 15 minutes, as you don’t want the lasagna oozing all over your plate and in the baking dish. You want a nice, solid hunk so you can savor every layer. Plus, it looks prettier that way, as you’ll see below. Then again, does it really matter? I can never wait so I cut slices before it cools down a bit! I’m just speaking from a food blogger ‘visual’ sense!

Lasagna Bolognese - everything from scratch..like a Nonna would make it.Lasagna Bolognese - everything from scratch..like a Nonna would make it.
Perfect and ready to devour. These plates need no adorning since the lasagna is the rock star. Suffice it to say, this didn’t last very long!

Lasagna Bolognese - everything from scratch..like a Nonna would make it.

Lasagna Bolognese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 10 to 12 servings
 
ingredients:
Bolognese sauce*
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 oz pancetta or prosciutto di parma, chopped
  • 2 lbs ground beef, OR a combo or ground veal, pork and beef, or two of the three, equaling 2 lbs.
  • 28 ounces canned San Marzano tomatoes,- drained and the juice and seeds squeezed from each tomato and discarded
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 2 large celery stalks, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup dry red or white wine (your preference)
  • ½ cup whole milk, heated with cream prior to adding
  • ¼ cup heavy cream, heated with milk prior to adding
  • 1 cup chicken stock, or beef stock, or veal stock, or a combo of beef stock and chicken stock to make one cup, heated prior to adding.
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons of butter to finish (optional)
Pasta Dough**
  • 3¼ to 3½ cups 00 or All-Purpose flour.
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
Bechamel Sauce***
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
  • ½ cup of All-Purpose flour
  • 4 cups of whole milk
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper,
  • freshly grated nutmeg
    2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (Not part of Bechamel sauce ingredients. Part of lasagna assembly)
directions:
For the Bolognese Sauce
  1. Heat the oil and butter in a large saute pan, then add the onion, celery, and carrot and cook over medium heat until the onion turns pale gold. Add the pancetta or prosciutto, and let it cook down until most of the fat has rendered out, then add the minced garlic, and cook for another minute or two, being careful not to burn the garlic.
  2. Pushing the carrots, onions, celery, garlic and pancetta off to the side of the pan (or removing it to a plate for time being), add the beef or combo of ground meats and let sear until brown (this is a very important step for flavor)..then start breaking it up and letting it cook until most of the juices have evaporated. Add or push the veggies and pancetta back in with the meat, and let it cook together for another few minutes, until almost dry.
  3. Turn the heat up to high and add the white or red wine, scraping up the 'fond' (aka flavor) from the bottom of the pan (deglazing), then let the wine cook down until almost evaporated.
  4. Transfer the beef, veggie, pancetta mix to a dutch oven or large oven proof pot. Turn your burner down to medium heat and add the tomatoes, breaking them up as you stir them in (or just squeeze them with your hands in a bowl prior to adding them), and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Add the stock, cook for 1 minute, and then the milk and cream, and bring to a boil.
  6. Now, you can either let the bolognese simmer on the stovetop, uncovered, for about 3-5 hours, stirring and keeping watch, OR, do as I learned from Francois at FXCuisine (so much easier and no burning on the bottom without constant stirring). Preheat your oven to 250 F, while preparing the sauce on the stovetop.
    NOTE - if you want a faster sauce, preheat the oven to 350 F and only cook it for about 1 to 2 hours at the most.
  7. After you transfer it to the dutch oven and bring it to a boil..COVER and put it in the 250 F oven. Let it cook anywhere from 2-4 hours (check every hour after two to see if it's cooked down enough for your taste. Also, give it a stir every hour from the start). It should be thick and meaty (thick like oatmeal), with barely any juice or 'sauciness'. Taste for seasonings, such as salt and pepper, but this is so concentrated and flavorful, I only needed to add some ground black pepper.
  8. If you like, remove half or a quarter of the sauce to a separate pot or bowl and use an immersion blender to break it down a little, then add it back into the original sauce, and let it cook on the stove top so it reduces down a little more. If you'd like, for an even richer sauce, stir in the 2 to 4 tablespoons of 'optional' butter once it's finished cooking. I mostly do this when I'm making this sauce just to serve over pasta.
  9. Let sauce cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to assemble the lasagna.
For the Homemade Pasta Dough and Lasagna Sheets
  1. Mound the flour on a sturdy board, and make a decent sized well in the middle (think volcano). Crack the eggs into a bowl, and add the egg yolk, to insure no shell gets into the 'well'. Pour the eggs into the well, and beat very carefully until uniform, making sure you keep those walls of flour intact to hold the pool of beaten eggs in. You don't want your volcano erupting! OK, I admit it, my 'volcano' did start to erupt, but fortunately, I was able to save it in time with some masterful bench scraping. Which brings me to that tip - have a bench scraper on hand just in case!
  2. Slowly start to incorporate the flour into the beaten eggs, until you have a soft dough. Start to knead the dough, adding more flour from your original 'volcano' (You most probably won't be incorporating all the flour from the volcano into the dough, (DO NOT try to force it all in, as you'll end up with a dry, crumbly bunch of pieces that won't hold together and tough pasta to boot), to get a nice, firm but smooth and elastic dough..about 10 minutes. You can also add the formed dough to your food processor/robocoupe, and finish it off there with a 30 second to1 minute pulse/run. You can even make the whole dough in the food processor, but you'd have to start out with a lot less flour, and slowly add it to the beaten eggs as the machine is running, until it's reached the right consistency. However, like I said above..I prefer the old fashioned way for this lasagna, since you've already put so much TLC into everything else.
  3. Once the dough is nice, smooth, and yellow to light yellow, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let it sit for 20 minutes or more. I refrigerate mine overnight, then let it come to room temp before I start cutting off pieces and rolling..but then again, as mentioned above, I do everything but the bechamel and the rolling of the pasta sheets the day before I make the Lasagna Bolognese.
  4. When the dough is almost ready, bring a large pot of water to boiling, (adding salt once it comes to a full boil). Break off or cut off about a golf ball or larger size piece and flatten in your hand, folding it into a small rectangle. (Cover the remaining dough with plastic wrap until you need to cut off another piece).
  5. Set your pasta machine at the widest setting, and run it through several times (you may have to flour the piece of dough lightly and sporadically to prevent sticking). Your sort of kneading it again, and making it nice and smooth for the final run throughs. Once it feels silky enough, flour it lightly and turn the knob up to number 2, and run it through a few times, then 3 (this is where I usually stop, as you don't want the sheets too thin, since it'll be cooking in the oven for about an hour). Leave your sheets rustic, no trimming (this is down home italian comfort food, not haute cuisine) and set them somewhere to dry, like a VERY lightly floured pan, drooping them over the rim, or some kind of rack. You don't want them to dry long, as you want them as fresh as possible.
  6. Once you've finished, add the pasta sheets, about two to three at a time, to the salted, boiling water. Let cook for only 40-50 seconds at most. Immediately transfer them to a large bowl of ice water, using a strainer of some sort (I use a Chinese strainer/skimmer), keeping that water in the pot and at a rolling boil. Keep repeating with the rest of the pasta sheets, adding more cold water to the bowl (you may have to use two bowls if the one you have isn't big enough for all that pasta) each time you add more of the semi-cooked sheets.
  7. Once you're finished, strain the pasta sheets and place them on a VERY lightly oiled pan (or one with a silpat) to dry. Then cover with plastic wrap until you're ready to assemble the lasagna.
For the Bechamel Sauce
  1. Heat the milk until almost boiling in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. In a separate pot melt the unsalted butter over low heat, then add the flour all at once. Stir rapidly with a whisk. Cook until you have a uniform blonde roux, do NOT let it brown, not even a little. We're not making gumbo here
  2. Slowly add the hot milk to the roux in increments, whisking until the roux absorbs each ½ to 1 cup of hot milk, in which you'll keep getting a thicker and thicker paste which will soon start to turn into a sauce. Once you've added all the milk, you'll have a nice, white, creamy sauce with no lumps, that should coat the back of a spoon.
  3. Season with salt, pepper and a few grates of fresh, whole nutmeg (not too much..taste with each grate). Set aside to cool until you're ready to assemble the lasagna.
Assemble Lasagna
  1. Get your 'mise en place' together - the two sauces, the partially cooked and dry lasagna sheets, and about two cups of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. By the way, don't throw out the rind of the cheese. It makes a great flavor enhancer for soups, sauces, stews, rices etc. Of course you don't eat the rind once it's served its purpose. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. First start with a light layer of sauce on the bottom of a deep 13 x 9 or 10 x15 baking dish. (I make this lasagna about 5-6 layers deep, but 3 or 4 layers is fine. Each layer will just be 'saucier'. You can leave the pasta dough as is, as those amounts are just about right for 3 or 4 layers, and as mentioned above, I usually double that or make another half of the recipe to make 5 or 6 layers. Top the sauce with a few lasagna sheets or whatever amount covers since you've kept your lasagna sheets 'rustic'. Cut sheets in half, if need be,
  3. Add a heavier layer of Bolognese sauce on top of those sheets, then next a layer of Bechamel sauce, then a handful of the Parm-Reg cheese.
  4. Top with another layer of lasagna sheets, then the same as above; Bolognese sauce, Bechamel Sauce and Parm-Reg cheese until you've used up all the lasagna sheets, sauces and cheese. Your top layer should the remainder of the sauces and cheese, not plain lasagna sheets.
  5. Now it's ready for the oven. Bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes to an hour. After 30-40 minutes, start checking if it's ready by sticking a long, thin knife or metal skewer into the center. If the knife or skewer comes out hot, it's ready. Lukewarm, keep cooking. If the top starts to get too brown, cover with aluminum foil for the remainder of the baking time.
notes:
*Bolognese sauce can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.
**Pasta dough can be made one day ahead, Bring to room temperature before rolling out. OR, make and boil pasta sheets, then stack each sheet between layers of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Wrap baking sheet with plastic wrap and chill until ready to assemble lasagna..
*** Bechamel sauce can be made one day ahead. Just reheat until loose, but not hot, when ready to assemble lasagna.
-For a 6 layer lasagna, double the Bechamel and Bolognese,,and add 1½ more cups of Parmiagiano-Reggiano cheese. You will also need enough pasta dough for about 18 lasagna sheets,
- If your Bolognese sauce is a little dry for some reason, like your oven running hot, just stir in a little tomato sauce and/or stock to bring it back. On the flip side. if it still seems too saucy after cooking, it's okay, it will thicken up as it cools. If it doesn't thicken up, in a pot on the stove top, cook it down over medium - high heat, constantly stirring, until the extra sauce reduces.


Bookmark and Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. yummy ! i love how perfectly “together” your lasagana/lasagne is. mine is always a huge mound of good stuff once i cut it.

  2. I honestly wouldn’t have known if mozzarella was part of the recipe or not if you hadn’t mentioned it, I just knew it tasted fantastic! The technical details are kind of lost on me, but I know what I like 🙂

    Whatever kind of cheese you use, keep making it taste like that and I’ll keep making it disappear! It’s not like I was expecting anything less (everything you make is incredible), but when something tastes this good you can’t help but be surprised. I’ll always love you, Lisa, just a little more after you’ve been in the kitchen! 😉 (kidding of course!)

    • Jason, that was hilarious to read! So sweet! So how many pounds did you gain because I’m attempting this in the morning and it must suffice for leftovers on wednesday! i bet its even better the next day!?!?! Although….I must say I’m adding a little mozzarella to the Parmesan. I can’t wait. An I bet if you whisper a couple more sweet nothing’s….she’d make you some mozzarella from scratch and make a phenomenal caprice salad, to feed your craving while you wait?!?! Lisa??
      Hahahah!! So any suggestions or changes I should know about before tomorrow morning?

      • Jason who? LOL We broke up in 2009, so that’s an ancient comment now. That said…I’m excited that you’re going to try it! The only advice I can give is make sure you cook down the sauce so it’s thick. Some did not and ended up with a more ‘saucy’, watery lasagna….exactly what you don’t want in a bolognese. Let me know how it turns out for you..and any questions, do not hesitate to email me and I’ll get right back to you ASAP.

  3. Lisa, you could take dirt and make it taste phenomenal. You’re amazing, hon. Beautiful, talented, and sweet to boot. Stop being so perfect! 😉

  4. omg, i have to have that. i’m actually going to make an attempt at it. That’s beautiful, lis, and my stomach is growling.

  5. Pingback: Lasagna/Lasagne - I did it MYYY WAYYY « Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives

  6. Glorious Lisa!! And yay for making your on lasagne sheets! This looks perfectly authentic, stacked nice and high, saucy, cheesy and gooey!

  7. Lisa, HELP!!! I’m making this for my bookclub tonight and the sauce is not “cooking down”. I kept it in the oven last night for 6 hours (set the oven timer) and had it on the stove top for an hour prior to that. It’s back on the stove top hoping it’ll be ready for me to assemble in a few hours. HELP – what have I done wrong?! I’ve made many bolognese lasagna’s but never one with so much liquid.

    Thank you, Kelly

  8. I’m glad I woke up in time to help! lol OK, I can’t understand why it’s not cooking down (did you drain the canned tomatoes? Did you squeeze out the liquid from the tomatoes? What brand did you use? Did you use 1 or 2 lbs? etc..). Did you follow the recipe verbatim? Well..for now, you can stop cooking it, refrigerate it once it’s cooled, and the meat should absorb any extra liquid in a few hours or less – OR ( I recommend this option), you can bring it to a rolling boil, stirring frequently, and let it reduce (about 20 minutes, although I’d have to see the sauce to know for sure), then cool and refrigerate it for a few hours or less. Keep me updated so we can figure this out if either of those options do not work 🙂

  9. Yipee – you’re here to save the day/dinner!! NO, I didn’t drain the tomatoes – darn!! I had it refrigerated from 2 AM until 7 this morning… and still as saucy as when I started. I’ll keep you up with the progress – thank you for such a
    quick response. For a very last resort… could I strain the meat out??

  10. Ahhhhh…that’s the reason, since the liquid in the can is a lot of tomato water. OK, we can eliminate all that water by turning the heat up, and boiling it on medium high..stirring for about 20 minutes. I promise it will reduce and thicken! Report back! 🙂 Straining the meat is a verrry last resort!

  11. It’s my fault for not adding that step to the recipe, assuming everyone drained canned tomatoes. I was a new food blogger back then, so please excuse the faux pas!

  12. PLEASE, it is not your fault. It’s coming together. I had to leave it to take my Son & Daughter to Soccer – I’m about to attempt the Bechamel sauce. I’m going to read your instructions 3 times before starting.

  13. SUCCESS!!! The lasagna was Amazing – most went back for seconds & you know it has to be good for a group of women to eat like that in front of others! Thank you for guiding me thru the steps. Next time it will be a breeze.

  14. This is so weird, just as i logged in (just got home),your message came through! I’m SO glad it all worked out and they loved it! Men DO go nuts for it! It’s become my favorite lasagna to make, and I hope it becomes one of yours! 🙂

  15. My taste buds are going insanely crazy!!! I had an Italian boyfriend who’s mother sent a 4 foot Rolling pin before coming over from Italy so we could make this…..it is by far the best !! I have been wanting to make it again but had been so long I forgot how, especially the bechamel this is crazy basically how she made it to a T . Thank you so much for the pin!! We used to make alot and freeze it we would pull it out sparingly we savored the last one,she would come every other year what a treat it was (-:

    • Wow..that’s a compliment of the highest order considering it involves an Italian mama! I’m so thrilled you loved it, PJ! I think it’s the best lasagna bolognese on the planet! If we could make it once a week, we’d be happy campers 🙂

  16. Pingback: Lasagna Bolognese | What2Cook

  17. I made the bolognese but I don’t want to start the bechamel tonight unless I can refrigerate that too ..I’m assembling the lasagna tomorrow … So I guess what I’m asking is it ok to refrigerate both sauces Ty!

    • Yes, Monica,,it most certainly is ok to refrigerate both sauces before assembling the lasagna the nest day. However, I would take them both out of the fridge an hour prior to putting the lasagna together for easier spreading, but that’s entirely up to you 🙂 Let me know how it turns out for you!

    • Hi, Jeff. My apologies! About a month ago I had to edit the recipe a bit and I must have accidentally deleted it. It’s fixed now 🙂

      • I’m super excited to try this recipe for my boyfriend whose mom makes an absolutely glorious lasagna …so I’ll let you know how it goes against mamas Authentic thick 5 layer masterpiece 🙂 **giddy**

      • Oh my gosh, Iris, I’m nervous now! This is a good lasagna, but no one can touch a mama’s lasagna!! lol Well, hopefully it will stack up okay ! (knocking wood)

  18. Pingback: 14 Lasagna Recipes | foodgio

  19. I’m super excited to make this on Saturday for my boyfriend, and his family. I’m really hoping everything comes together the right way!! And I will definitely be following verbatim everything you said! Can’t wait to eat.

    • Awesome, Keryn! Let me know how it turns out, and if you have any questions while making it, please don’t hesitate to ask here, and I will get back to you ASAP 🙂

  20. I am so amazed that I stumbled upon this recipe while coaching my husband long-distance in how to access my pinterest account. I have been craving this exact lasagna since 2009 when someone brought it to my friend who was recovering from a major surgery. We have BOTH been desperate for a recipe like this. THANKS ! ! ! I will follow your directions to a T. This is a minor miracle at the least.

    • Awesome, Melodie! Let me know how it turns out for you, and if you run into any trouble while making it, let me know ASAP! 🙂

  21. This lasagna looks awesome. I love how your instructions are super detailed. Just a quick question, could you bake the lasagna without boiling the sheets? I was wondering because it seems like such a labor intensive extra step. Have you tried it without cooking the noodles first? Since homemade pasta cooks so quickly, could you make the bolognese extra saucy to help the noodles “cook” while in the oven?
    Thx

    • Hi, Lis..thank you! I think you should be able to, if the sheets are thinner than you see in the photos. Let the sheets dry before layering. BUT, one caveat. As you mentioned, this bolognese sauce isn’t super saucy, so I’m not sure there would be enough liquid to sufficiently cook the noodles. If in doubt, maybe try it first with the no boil noodles they sell at the markets, OR, maybe add more tomatoes to the sauce. But, if you add more tomatoes to the sauce, that would defeat the whole purpose of cooking it down for hours to get that beefy, concentrated flavor, which is key in lasagna bolognese. I’m conflicted! If you try any of the above, please let me know how it works out either way 🙂

      • I ended up boiling the homemade lasagna sheets. I didn’t want to waste all that bolognese with gummy pasta and it was sooooo good!! Thx for the recipe. It’s a keeper for sure 🙂

      • I’m so glad it worked out via boiling, Lis! I don’t boil fresh lasagna noodles when making your basic saucy, cheesy lasagna, but like you said, it’s a tough call with the thick, meaty bolognese. I will try it and get back to you if it works 🙂 Regardless, so happy you liked it!

  22. since i don’t have a pasta maker, can i use store bought noodles? if so, would i use the no-boil noodles or regular and boil them prior to assemble?

    • Of course you can use store-bought noodles, lisa 🙂 But, If you’re going to buy the no-boil noodles, give them a quick blanch in boiling water first, since the bolognese sauce isn’t super saucy, so it won’t provide enough moisture to cook the noodles to that lovely tender state you look for in pasta. If you can buy fresh lasagna noodles, that would be ideal! But, again, no-boil = quick blanch, regular lasagna noodles = boil according to package directions.

  23. I just made this tonight….DELISH!!! Totally different than what we are used to as “lasagna” My question is, my bolognese didn’t look as red as yours did. I used (1) 28 ounce can of whole tom. and followed your directions for them. Is there something I missed? Or is there a way to add more tomato-ish feel to it as well?
    My hubby raved and had thirds!!! He asked though if next time I could add some more tomato sauce feel to it. Or does that defeat the whole purpose?
    Thank you!!

    • Hi, Kailey! The redness you see in the photo is probably due to the overhead kitchen lighting and a cheap point and shoot camera I used back then. However, if you want to add more tomatoes for a bit more sauce, by all means do so. I don’t think it will defeat the purpose at all. Some people like their bolognese really concentrated for that powerful, beefy punch, and some like it with more tomato. All a matter of taste, so go for it! I’m so glad you and your husband liked it!!

    • Hi, Monique. I prefer to beat the eggs inside the well, but of course you can beat them first, then add them to the well. Either way is fine 🙂

      • Whew! I’m accident prone and hoped I could take this short cut. Also want to thank you for including so much detail in your recipe/article. I’ve always wanted to make pasta from scratch and your steps make me feel a bit more confident. Looking forward to trying this and other of your recipes!! 🙂

      • You’re so welcome, Monique!! If it proves to be a pain, by all means, buy fresh lasagna sheets (especially if you have a great italian market nearby) or just use boxed. It’s perfectly fine! Good luck!! xo

    • bsolutely, Tony! I’d recommend lightly oiling them so they don’t stick together, or a trick a friend’s grandmother uses..she places them in a bowl of cold water so they don’t stick. Not too sure about the latter since I never tried it, but refrigerate away! 🙂

  24. Pingback: Top 10 Lasagna Recipes | RecipePorn

    • Not at all, Sharon..and in fact, pasta is so silky smooth, it rolls out easily! I actually have a post about it, loaded with photos detailing the rolling and cutting, in my drafts. That said, make sure you roll it thin enough that you can see newsprint through the dough, then cut into lasagna rectangles (sizes vary due to personal preference) but the standard is about 2″ or 3″ by 10″. I actually cut mine haphazardly and just laid them to cover each layer of sauces and cheese 🙂 Here’s a vid that sort of covers hand rolled lasagna noodles; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iaegYXduOc

  25. Hi Lisa,
    I need your help again……I am not sure what went wrong, after 2 hours of cooking in the oven at 350F (in a Dutch oven COVERED with lid), it came out so dry, I don’t even have a tablespoon of juice in it. I squeezed all of the juice in the can of a 28 oz tomato, and I had for about a cup worth of tomato meat to cook. Did I squeeze out too much juice from the can of tomato? I don’t have an oatmeal paste like you did, it was dry and granular. What do you recommend for me to fix this?

    Many thanks,
    Sharon

    • Hi Lisa,

      I am going to take out the pot from the fridge today, and plan to add 1/4 cup of chicken stock and a bit of tomato paste to see if I can cook it to be more like the oatmeal paste you had.

      I hope this wouldn’t defeat the whole purpose of this yummy meaty sauce. If you have better recommendation for me, please let me know.

      Looking forward to this dish on Halloween.

      Thanks,
      Sharon

      • Sharon..I’m so sorry for the long delay! I never received an alert that you commented! Need to look into that! That said, I’m also sorry that the bolognese sauce turned out dry. Some ovens run a little hotter than others, so that ‘could’ be the cause. In any event, did the addition of the chicken stick and tomato paste remedy it for you?

      • Yes, it worked! I placed 2 tbs of tomato paste and 1/4 cup chicken stock and cooked for about a few minutes and it turned out perfect, just like the picture you had! It was very yummy, thanks for the recipe!!!
        Sharon

      • Oh, I’m so glad, Sharon! Maybe next time subtract about 30 minutes from the cooking time? I’m just assuming it’s because your oven might run a little hot. Then again, maybe start checking it 1 hour before it’s supposed to be done? All guesses lol

  26. Phenomenal! Everything I could ever want a lasagna to be. Mine had to be gluten free but I was able to adapt your pasta recipe, it just needed 2 more yolks and a teaspoon of psyllium powder.

    I made everything the night before, so assembly the next day was a breeze. The depth of flavour from the bolognese had me returning to the fridge a few times the night before just to re-sample it lol.

    It is a labour of love, but it was worth it and it made so much that I have two loaf pans of it frozen for another fulfilling dinner.

    Thank you.

    • Oh, Melanie, you are so welcome! One of the times I made this, I think it was about 3 years ago, I ate so much of the bolognese sauce with a spoon, there wasn’t enough for the lasagna! I had to scrap it for another time and we just ate the remaining sauce over boxed rigatoni LOL It’s THAT good. With that said, I think it’s awesome that you were able to adapt it with homemade gluten-free pasta. I’m not at all familiar with gluten-free flours and ‘psylliujm powder’, but this is great for any gluten-free readers here! Thank you for writing me to let me know! 🙂

  27. This is absolutely the best lasagna I have ever made. I will never make lasagna with ricotta and motzarella again. The directions were good and the lasagna looked perfect. First time I have not had lasagna leftovers. Thanks for this fabulous recipe.

    • I’m so happy you loved it, Jennifer, and you’re so welcome!! Loving it more than lasagna with mozzarella and ricotta is a HUGE compliment, as is no leftovers,. although that could be a bummer the next day when you immediately crave it again LOL Thank you so much for letting me know how it turned out! 🙂

  28. Ok Found your recipe on Pinterest ..pinned it about a month ago for Christmas day, have everything ready to begin Cooking on Christmas Eve!! I keep reading and rereading the recipe/blog to make sure I’m not stressed … I am so excited!!!! Adding garlic bread and a salAd My first stress free Christmas … Well ever- And I’m not hidden away in the kitchen all day Cooking for a huge family – praying this goes over really well and becomes a new family Christmas tradition!! Merry Christmas!

    • HI, Kerry! I’m so glad you’re making it!! I hope it goes over really well too! I can say with the 100% certainty that it has gone over more than well here for years now!! If you run into any trouble at all, leave a comment here or contact me via my contact form, and I will get back to you ASAP! This a huge moment for you and now I’m nervous! lol Merry Christmas to you too!

      • Oh you are lovely! Thank you … I will let you know!! Merry Christmas from my family to yours! IT BEGINS TOMORROW!!!!

      • Aww, Kerry..thank you! You are a sweetheart! Looking forward to hearing how your lasagna turns out! The best part about this lasagna is that no one ever asks where the ricotta and mozzarella is once they dig in! 🙂 Happy Holiday to you and yours!! xo

  29. Hi Lisa! I, like Kerry am making this for my family Christmas eve dinner tomorrow night and am working on the sauce as we speak!

    I’d like to assemble the lasagna first thing in the morning and refrigerate (so I have time to prepare the house, snacks, sides, etc. Will this be ok pre-assembled in the frig for the day; pulling it out to cook in the afternoon or should I wait and assemble just before cooking? Thank you so much for the recipe, I’m so excited!

    • Hi, Melissa! Although I’ve never prepared it ahead myself, it’s not uncommon to prepare a whole lasagna ahead and bake the next day. The only minor worry is the chill from the fridge extracting moisture from the bolognese sauce, possibly diluting the intense flavor you so lovingly spent hours on, a bit. BUT, I don’t know this for sure, and I actually make the bolognese sauce the night before and let it chill overnight (the flavors marinate and meld even more!) before assembling the lasagna the next day, so I say go for it! Just bring the lasagna to room temperature before putting it in the oven 🙂

    • Oh, Melissa..wait until you taste it! Whenever I make this lasagna, I make a double batch and freeze some to serve over pasta at another time! That said, wishing you the happiest, most delicious and wonderful holiday!! (knocking lasagna bolognese wood) lol xo

  30. I made this lasagna tonight for our football game (Patriots). This was a big HIT, absolutely delicious. I followed the recipe as written, the bolognese was amazing. I started it on the stove and finished it in oven for 2 hours in my Cuisinart dutch oven, perfect flavor perfect texture. Noodles were extremely easy to make and the Bechamel sauce was sooo smooth with a hint of nutmeg providing just the right flavor. Hand grated Parmigiano-Reggiano put it over the top. I made enough so we would have leftovers. .. . this will now be my “go to” lasagne recipe, Thank you for posting we loved it~~~~

    • So glad it was such a great success for you, Peggie! A friend put it perfectly a few months ago. She said “I never thought my favorite lasagna would be one without ricotta and mozzarella!”. The two sauces are so outstanding, you don’t miss either! But, I will be blogging my ‘famous’ ricotta and mozzarella lasagna eventually, so I hope you try that too when I do! It’s one I’ve been making since I was 17, and has evolved into something pretty amazing 🙂

      • I will def be watching for you ricotta mozzarella recipe. . however as my husband said last night. . “this is addicting, I can’t stop eating it” and he is a ricotta mozzerella lasagna LOVER. . .so it will be interesting to make your version. . .I look forward to your post~

      • I’m so glad, Peggie! I hope your husband likes it as much as the bolognese, although they’re technically two different lasagnas, so that may be asking too much lol

  31. Pingback: How to cook rice - 50 excellent recipes - ExplainBlog.com

  32. Pingback: Lasagna Bolognese

  33. I made this over the weekend – it was amazing. Even had to take a moment, literally, as I took my first bite to appreciate the amazing flavor.
    Thank you for the easy instructions!!
    I used 1/2 pork/1/2 beef, I also did not make my own noodles but everything was word for word. Genius!
    Thank you – we’ll be making this again, I’m sure very soon.

    • Thank you so much for letting me know how much you liked it, Maureen! I’m with you on that first bite deal – mind-blowing! I haven’t made it in a few months, but that’s going to change soon. I have to have it again!! Also, so glad my directions worked out well for you! I’m going to eventually video the process, hopefully within a year 🙂

  34. Pingback: 7 Delicious Entrees To Serve July 4th | ShareYourFreebies

  35. I would appreciate if you can tell me , can i make it without boiling lazanija shits and if not way ?

    • lazanja shits? I’m assuming you mean the lasagna noodles, Dragana lol. Yes, you can make it with no-boil noodles, but I don’t recommend it since the noodles absorb the sauce to cook, and after putting so much time and love into the sauce, you would lose some of the best parts of it. Personally, I never use no-boil lasagna noodles for any lasagna because you don’t get the full punch and sauciness you would with a quick blanch or boil.

  36. “You have to make the pasta from scratch”

    I’m so bored with people saying stuff like that. I am in general, but also in particular for dried pasta, because dried pasta is actually one of the products that are very high in quality compared to the freshly made version (just like puffy pastry dough is) and the additional work spent (and making pasta is a ton of work the first times you make it) is not necessarily worth all that extra effort
    In this case using fresh ones changes the cooking time of the lasagna and you’ll more likely end up with way overcooked pasta or the whole lasagna won’t be cooked enough. Also fresh sheets won’t soak up as much liquid, which changes the texture of the lasagna and the taste, especially of the pasta, because they’ll soak up less taste from the sauce they’re cooked in too.

    Unless I was planning to make other pasta dishes (where making fresh pasta can be worthwhile, if the pasta is much more prominent), I would always use dried plates for a lasagna. And probably even then.

    • Hi, there! I appreciate your opinion and enjoyed reading it, Most of the time (barring special occasions), I use boxed pasta for all pasta preparations, but when it comes to this particular lasagna, I always make it from scratch. It just tastes better and gives such a silky bite and texture on the palate – no mushiness at all. My point was, if you go to the lengths to make a labor intensive lasagna with an extraordinary sauce, why not go all the way? If you want to use boxed lasagna, of course it will still be delicious, but only if you precook the noodles first according to package directions. Personally, I’m not a fan of the no-boil lasagna noodles in any lasagna because it soaks up whatever amazing sauce(s) you’re using, resulting in a dryer lasagna with less flavor. Having said all that, thanks for letting me know your take on the fresh versus dried pasta debate! 🙂

  37. This recipe is so authentic. I compared the flavor to a recent expensive Italian restaurant lasagna and this was fresh and had more flavor.

    • I agree, Robin! I prefer mine over any others I’ve tried the past few years. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, and thank you!

  38. I have so many fresh tomatoes from my garden. If I blanch, peel and deseed my tomatoes, can I use them for this sauce?

  39. Lisa, this looks incredibly good. I’m seriously craving lasagna. My family doesn’t like ricotta (which I don’t understand at all), so your recipe might be the answer. However, I am also looking forward to your version with ricotta and mozzarella.

    • Hi, Michelle! Great to see you here!! Lasagna Bolognese is special in that the long and slow-cooked bolognese meshing with the creamy bechamel and Parmigiano-Reggiano make it completely unnecessary to add mozzarella or ricotta, although it’s a regional thing in Italy, as the ricotta with mozzarella lasagna is common in southern Italy. Truth be told, I actually prefer the Bolognese version to the Sicilian version, but just by a bit because they’re both so great! That said, nothing wrong at all with adding mozzarella since it’s so mild and won’t take away from the amazing flavor of the bolognese. Let me know how it turns out when you make it, Michelle! xo

      • Thank you, Lisa. I need a free weekend to make this, and I will let you know how it turns out.

      • You’re welcome, Michelle! If you run into any problems if and when you get your free weekend to make it, send me a message on pinterest, and I’ll be there ASAP 🙂

  40. Jazzed to have found this recipe! Bought groceries tonight, am going to make the Bolognese and pasta dough tomorrow. Cannot wait to dive in!!!

    • Awesome, Danielle! Let me know how it goes, and if you run into any problems, just use my CONTACT ME form, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. 🙂

  41. Hi, I am planning on making this for a family Christmas party (we all chose a different country to make food from and I chose Italian as I wanted an excuse to use my pasta machine) But the party is 2 hours up north. Should I just make it all up the night before and reheat it in the oven when I get there (if so at what temp and how long?) Or should I just assemble before I leave and bake when I get there or something else? Your advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

    • Hi, Jess! I’m so glad you’re making this lasagna! I truly hope you will enjoy it as much as we do! You can do either of the above. However, if it were me, I’d assemble it and bake it at the location instead of baking it beforehand since upon reheating an already baked lasagna, you can run the risk of it drying out a little. But, since I’ve never done either of the above, though I’ve reheated slices of the already baked lasagna, I’m going to stick with assemble then bake at your location. But, if you want to bake it first and then reheat it at your final destination, I would let it come to room temperature; preheat the oven to 350 F when it’s close to room temperatue; then bake it at 350 F, covered with foil, for 1/2 hour, then uncovered for 15 minutes to 1/2 hour. Stick a long skewer or knife into the center to make sure it’s hot all the way through.

      I hope this helps! 🙂

  42. Hi there. This looks fabulous and I plan to make it this weekend. I don’t have a pasta maker so can I just roll out the pasta into sheets and cut them to size? I’ve never made pasta before either. Thank you. Patty

    • Hi, Patty! Absolutely, and in fact, I did that the last time I made it! Plus, it’s a great workout for the arms ;D. However, since you’ll be rolling the sheets very thin, work quick since the pasta sheet will start to dry faster than if you were using an electric or hand-crank pasta roller, so it will be harder to keep rolling. Good luck on your first pasta making foray, and if you get a chance; let me know how it turns out for you!

      • Hi Lisa. I didn’t have any luck trying to roll out the lasagna noodles and had to resort to plan B (boxed noodles). 🙁 but your recipe is excellent and has inspired me enough to buy a pasta maker and try again. Everyone loved it and I will definitely make again. Thank you for the help and the recipe.

      • I’m sorry the pasta hand-rolling didn’t work out, Patty. It’s definitely not easy to nail on the first try. You should have seen me about 10 years ago. Just as I was getting to the point where the pasta sheet was thin enough to cut, it dried out and I couldn’t roll it anymore. Then it hit the floor and shattered into pieces!! A crank or electric pasta roller is definitely worth the investment. Easy rolling in no time! That said, I’m so glad you all loved it and you’re so welcome!! 🙂

  43. Made this yesterday. It was a huge hit. I did cheat and used oven ready lasagna noodles. As preparing pasta was a little to scary for me. I drained the tomatoes and kept the tomato juice thinking it might make a good Bloody Mary, but instead added the juice to the Bolognese sauce to give a little extra moisture to help out with the oven ready pasta. Let it sit in fridge a couple hours before cooking and it came out wonderful. Everyone loved this and requested I make it again. I did make the Bolognese the night before and then added reserved juice before assembly. Thanks Lisa for such a tasty lasagna.

    • Oh, Bill, I’m so thrilled that the lasagna was a hit with repeat requests! It was a great idea to add the residual tomato juice to the bolognese since you needed that extra moisture to cook the oven-ready noodles, and I’m so glad it didn’t affect the concentrated, beefy flavor of the bolognese! Thank you so much for taking time to let me know how it turned it! It always brightens my day to hear that one of my recipes was a hit! 🙂

  44. Had a snow day yesterday so i tackled this lasagna. The end result was a deliciously rich dish that was unanimously declared the best lasagna they’d ever had. But I had to make a couple changes.

    First, I used a domestic Parmesan – sarvecchio from Wisconsin. San Marzano tomatoes were impossible to find, so I set crushed tomatoes in a colander and strained out the extra juice before adding them. It was done simmering at the three hour mark, and I attributed that to this change. I used store bought pasta and chicken stock as well.

    The bechamel sauce seemed easy enough, but it was really thick, almost doughy at some points. Extra milk thinned it out, and it tasted turned out fine.

    Initially, I was wary of making so many changes in the interest of time and equipment; it still turned out absolutely fabulous. Next time, more time will be spent sourcing the ingredients so the right tomatoes can be found, use better stock, etc.

    Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Hi, Marcus, thank you so much for stopping in to let me know about your experience in making this lasgana, and I am thrilled that it was a hit regardless of your substitutions. In fact, if everyone loved it, I don’t see any reason why you would need to seek out the San Marzano tomatoes! On the flip side, if they loved it with the tomatoes you used, they would probably love it even more with the San Marzanos. They are sweeter, smoother and less acidic than than any other type of tomato, most probably because they’re grown in volcanic soil at the base of Mount Vesuvius!! Since we can’t grow tomatoes at the base of a volcano or sometimes have trouble finding them locally, subbing other types or brands of tomatoes is fine, but if you get your hands on some San Marzanos, definitely try this lasagna with them (and the Parmigiano-Reggiano!).

      Having said all that, I’m perplexed as to why the bechamel turned doughy, but glad you were able to remedy it with more milk. I’m assuming the roux absorbed the milk faster than usual due to higher heat or some explained weather or atmospheric deal! lol Once again, I’m so glad the lasgana was enjoyed by all (not to mention, how awesome to make on a snow day! Warm and cozy inside, your house smelling amazing from the baking lasgana. Pure Heaven!); and please let me know how it turns out when you get your hands on some San Marzanos! 🙂

  45. I know this blog has been around for a while, but still receiving posts – must have something to say about how fantastic this recipe is :). I have been making one almost identical for many years and it is always a special occasion hit. For me the home made pasta is essential – it makes the whole thing much lighter and more enjoyable – and seconds are not out of the question…

    One change that I think is significant – I add the milk/cream before the wine/tomatoes. The milk/cream is not only to enrich the dish, but it is also to prevent the meat from picking up a “metallic” taste from the acidic wine and tomatoes. Best to add it and cook until mostly all evaporated before adding wine, which I also then cook until almost all evaporated, and then add the tomatoes, etc. This method also helps ensure the sauce does not get too runny.

    I love the way you make this sound easy, and fun – which it is. Great post.

    • Hi, Frank! Thank you so much for your sweet compliment about this recipe. That said, another huge thank you for that tip! Although I’ve never encountered a metallic taste in the sauce nor any problems with the sauce being runny, I will most certainly add the milk and cream first the next time I make the lasagna, and I will let you know how it turns out after I do. Finally, I love cooking and baking so much that I tend to get carried away when I write my posts, so it feels good to know that you enjoyed it! 🙂

  46. Sauce got a bit burned on top in oven. Trying to fix that… Added some brown sugar and a bit of homemade vodka sauce. Any other suggestions?

    • Hi, Nancy. I’m so sorry your sauce is a little burned. Did you cover the pot before putting it in the oven? That said, start by scraping off the burned parts so it doesn’t permeate the sauce, then transfer the sauce to another pot with a cover and add more tomatoes or anything tomato based like some of juice from the can of tomatoes, into the sauce. I’m glad you added some brown sugar since that helps too, but not too much because you’ll end up with a sloppy joe like sauce! Put the sauce back in the oven and continue where you left off. Let me know if it worked out! 🙂

  47. Hi there. Im in the midst of making your yummy recipe and i notice it has double the carrot, onion and celery than the original but the same amount of meat. Am i reading that correctly? Thanks!

    • Hi, Donnell 🙂 I’m not quite following. Do you mean ‘from the original’ as the recipe from the blogger this lasagna was inspired from? If so, it’s because my recipe is different from his. If that’s not it, which ‘original’ are you referring to?

  48. Hi Lisa! I’ve searched and searched bolognese recipes and have decided to try yours. So many wonderful comments, your pictures are beautiful and am so anxious to make my first bolognese sauce! I plan to do half pork half beef. Should I use lean or go for the 80%? Also, I found a lovely package of egg pappardelle pasta from Whole Foods. I’ll be serving this over noodles vs making a lasagna. Would you change anything if you weren’t making lasagna? Should I still cook down the sauce as much? Thank you for this lovely recipe and the inspiration you’ve given a humble cook like myself!

    • Hi, Kate! Thank you so much for your flattering and lovely compliments! I’m so glad you’ll be making the bolognese sauce to serve over pappardelle (perfect pasta for a bolognese!). To answer your questions, how lean the meat is really depends on your preference, but truth be told, go for the 80% because fat = flavor. I don’t think I’ve ever gone less than 80% with this sauce.

      As for still cooking down the sauce even though you’re not making the lasagna – absolutely, since that’s the key to the amazing concentrated, meaty flavor that makes bolognese so special. So, no, nothing changes in the recipe, whether or not you’re making a lasagna or serving it over pasta (or mashed potatoes, which we do sometimes. Highly recommended if you have any leftover sauce for another day!).

      All that being said, if you get a chance, let me know how it turns out for you! 🙂

      • LOL, yes, fast because I try to get back to my readers as quickly as possible as soon as I get or see the alert. However, this time I just so happened to be fixing something in the dashboard of my blog so I saw your comment the moment it came through, hence the lightning speed reply!

        That said, since the meat is being cooked in the pan with the veg and garlic, if you want to drain it a bit after cooking it, just tilt the pan over a bowl in the sink, using a plate on top to keep the meat from falling out. However, I’ve never drained it myself, but if any fat rises to the top upon cooling, I just skim it off with a spoon. But, a lot of the time I make my bolognese the day before I’m serving so the flavor intensifies overnight in the fridge. In those cases, most of the fat rises to the top after the overnight chill, so it’s really easy to spoon off since it’s solidified.:)

      • Omg!!! Thank you again for this recipe! It was the first of yours I’ve tried and found it browsing Pinterest. Made the bolognese sauce yesterday and let it sit overnight. I reheated it to be eaten today and added a little more beef stock to loosen it up just a bit. This was hands down the best meal I have ever made my family. Everyone loved it and couldn’t stop saying how delicious it was. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes! Great job Lisa!

      • Kate, I’m so happy you loved it and it was a hit! So sorry for the delay as there are no message alerts when someone has been approved to comment without having to be approved, if that makes sense? That said,thank you so much for letting me know how much you loved the sauce, and like I mentioned in my last comment, you’ve got to try any leftover sauce on top of mashed potatoes, although I get the feeling there may not be any leftover sauce! which, of course, is a good thing ;).

  49. Final result was great! Got rave reviews from my family! Step 4 – why are we cooking a few chunks of tomatoes with no juice left in them for 15-20 min. Step 6 – glad I read comments as I agree nothing really left to boil, so after I stuck in oven, and checked an hour later, it was beginning to burn around edges so I removed and added a cup of chicken stock and some tomatoe paste. Something in this step needs to be updated so folks don’t burn this meat sauce. Like I said, final dish tasted amazing, but agree my sauce did not look red like your picture. Did you use red or white wine? Only red I had was bits of tomatoes showing thru meat sauce,

    • Hi, Nan! Thank you so much for coming by to let me know this! To answer your questions; the reason the chunks of tomatoes are cooked down first (without juice) before going into the oven, is because you want to sort of melt (concentrate them) into the meat by softening them so they break down easily during the long, slow cook without any extra tomato liquid within the chunks and bits. What you want from this sauce is a deep, beefy flavor, light on the tomato. As for the cooking time and the possible burning issue, the oven temperature is supposed to be 250 F. I had to rewrite part of the recipe two weeks ago since it was lost in a restore. and I typo’d it in the first part, which I then copied and pasted into the printable recipe.

      Regarding the red color of the sauce in the photo; back in 2008 I was using a cheap point and shoot camera and photographing my food under kitchen lighting, which is pretty bad, but it was all I knew back then. So, that’s probably why it looks ‘redder’ than it actually was/is.

      Having said all that, thanks so much for bringing all of this to my attention, and I’m so happy to hear it got rave reviews!

  50. I made this after visiting Bologna, Italy and seeing real lasagne was made with béchamel and not ricotta. Thank you for this recipe, it is spot on as to what I ate there. The only devastations I made was I didn’t add the nutmeg to the béchamel and I made my pasta thinner – to a 5 on the machine . This was delicious!

  51. I’m a black woman that considers herself a well traveled foodie, as well as a SOULFUL cook – a great cook even… and I don’t eat at a ton of people’s homes because it’s just never flavored enough for my personal taste. *This is all personal opinion, no harm meant to anyone.

    But this recipe is AHMAZIINNGGGGG!!!!!!!
    Just absolutely wonderful. Bravo… this recipe blew my mind.
    Thank you.

  52. Served this on Sunday night to 12 guests. It was worth the extra time and effort that went into its preparation. I followed the recipe as written and was delighted that I didn’t change a thing. It was the best lasagna ever, even better yesterday, but there wasn’t much left to sample. Thanks, for the recipe, I added it to my book and that’s my lasagna recipe for the future!

  53. True Italian Americans don’t put carrots or celery in their lasagna. My mom has been making it for 50+ years. We are 100% Italian. Where do non-Italians come up with these recipes!

    • Hi, Philomena. Authentic Bolognese sauce always contains carrots and celery. In a traditional lasagna, a simple tomato based marinara or meat sauce is used, but this is a Lasagna Bolognese, a concentrated meat sauce, hence the sauce containing a mirepoix of carrots, onions and celery, and not as much tomato. 🙂

  54. Pilomena, it’s a bolognese. Try a little research before you shoot your mouth off about “real Italians”.

  55. I am making this for Christmas Dinner along with a Prime Rib. I am hoping to make this the day before and stick in the the fridge. How long would I need to bake it day of to heat through?

    • Hi, Holly; glad to hear you’ll be making this lasagna for Christmas! I hope you love it as much as we do! That said, the best way to reheat it is to first let the lasagna come to room temperature, then preheat the oven to 350 F, cover it with tin foil, and depending how many layers you make this lasagna..heat for 30 minutes, then check it with a long skewer to see if it’s hot throughout. If not, let it keep going another 30 minutes, checking with the skewer (or a long knife) intermittently until it’s completely hot all the way through. If it seems dry, add more sauce to the top underneath the foil. Please let me know how it turns out for you! Merry Christmas!