Classic lasagna and Bolognese sauce

The original lasagna from Bologna, Italy, is a glorious but simple layering of noodles, creamy béchamel sauce and slow-cooked meat ragu.

Serves
8

INGREDIENTS

Béchamel

Bolognese meat sauce

METHOD

Bechamel

  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low.
  • Whisk in flour until mixture forms a paste, about 2 minutes.
  • Gradually whisk in milk.
  • Increase heat to medium. Cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pot, until sauce thickens, 7 to 8 minutes.
  • Stir in salt and nutmeg.

Bolognese meat sauce

  • Melt butter in a large heavy pot over medium.
  • Add onion, carrot and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Increase heat to medium-high. Add beef, garlic and salt. Cook, stirring to break up meat, until no pink remains, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add milk and cook until almost all liquid has evaporated, 7 to 8 minutes.
  • Add wine and cook until almost all liquid has evaporated, 6 to 7 minutes.
  • Stir in passata. Boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 45 minutes.

To assemble

  • Spread 1/2 cup béchamel in the bottom of a 9 × 13-inch baking dish.
  • Top with 3 noodles. Spread 1 1/2 cups Bolognese meat sauce evenly over noodles. Drizzle with 1/2 cup béchamel.
  • Top with 3 more noodles. Spread ricotta evenly over noodles. Season with fresh pepper. Spread another 1 1/2 cups meat sauce evenly over ricotta. Drizzle with 1/2 cup béchamel.
  • Top with remaining 3 noodles. Spread remaining 1 1/2 cups meat sauce evenly over noodles. Drizzle with remaining 1/2 cup béchamel.
  • Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella.
  • Cover pan with foil and bake in centre of oven, 45 minutes.
  • Remove foil, then sprinkle with parmesan.
  • Bake until golden and bubbly, about 10 more minutes.
  • Let lasagna stand 10 minutes before serving.

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