Recipe: Classic Bolognese Lasagna

Classic Bolognese Lasagna

I have a veggie, Stupidly Simple Lasagna recipe that I love. A rich tomato sauce, lots of mozzarella cheese and no need to make a béchamel sauce. However, every time I dish it up for J I get asked where the meat is (even though he had second helpings the first time I made it, which I think was actually the first time I’d cooked for him!) so today I’m sharing the Classic Bolognese Lasagna I now make for dinner, complete with a rich, red-wine enriched meat sauce and a rich, creamy béchamel, spiked with a generous amount of freshly grated nutmeg. I’ve also written the recipe so you don’t have any leftover packets of things kicking around the fridge afterwards.

How To Make Bolognase Lasagna
How To Make Lasagna

What I have preserved for lasagna night (aside from the nice big glass of red wine, the rest of the bottle used to make the bolognese sauce!) is my choice of side. In my book, lasagna should always be served with a green salad (rocket or mixed Italian baby leaf) with lots of truffle vinaigrette from Sophie Michell’s fantastic book Chef on a Diet. Unless like me you work from home it can be a bit involved to put together on a weeknight and it takes a fair bit of time (even though most of the work is hands off) it is one to make over a lazy weekend, or to make as a meal prep dish on Sunday evening, as it will store well in the fridge and re-heat beautifully.

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Classic Bolognese Lasagna

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes (plus 30 minutes resting time)
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian-American

Description

This classic bolognese lasagna is has everything you could possibly want in your go-to lasagna recipe: a rich meat sauce, plenty of mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and a creamy, nutmeg spiked béchamel sauce.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Bolognese Sauce

  • 1 tbsp Light Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, finely chopped
  • Large Pinch Salt
  • 4 Large Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 400g (14 oz) Beef Mince
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tbsp Golden Caster (Granulated) Sugar
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) Red Wine
  • 2 x 400g (14 oz) Tins Chopped Tomatoes

For the Béchamel

  • 60g (2 oz) Unsalted Butter
  • 4 tbsp Plain (All Purpose) Flour
  • 600ml (2 1/2 cups) Milk
  • Large Pinch Freshly Grated Nutmeg

For the Lasagna

  • 1 x 300g (10 oz) Pack Fresh Lasagna Sheets
  • 2 x 125g (4.5 oz) Mozzarella Balls, torn
  • 100g (3.5 oz) Tub Grated Parmesan

Instructions

  1. First, make the bolognese sauce. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Soften the onions with a very generous pinch of salt for about 5 minutes until they are translucent, then add the garlic. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until soft and fragrant.
  2. Add the beef and turn up the heat to medium high. Breaking up the mince with the back of your spoon as you go, fry it until the meat is brown all over.
  3. Stir in the tomato puree, dried oregano, sugar, and lots of black pepper. Then add the red wine and tinned tomatoes, washing the tins out with the wine so you don’t leave any of the tomato juices behind!
  4. Bring the sauce to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, leaving without a lid for half an hour. Remove from the heat to cool slightly while you make the béchamel. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (355 fahrenheit)
  5. In a smaller saucepan, melt the butter over a medium low heat. Using a balloon whisk, stir in the flour, and cook, still stirring, for a few minutes to cook out the flour and get rid of that raw flour taste. Gradually whisk in the milk until you have a smooth sauce. Add the nutmeg, and continue to whisk until the sauce has thickened and will coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat.
  6. To assemble the lasagna, spread a little of the bolognese sauce over the bottom of a large, square baking dish (mine is 8 inches x 8 inches) and lay two lasagna sheets on top. Start building the layers, starting with a ladle of bolognese, a ladle of béchamel, a few mozzarella pieces, a sprinkle of parmesan and two more lasagna sheets, laid in the opposite direction. Keep going until you run out of béchamel, and you only have a ladle of bolognese, and about 1/3 of the mozzarella and parmesan left. To build the top layer, spread over the remaining bolognese, then sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
  7. Bake the lasagne for 50 minutes, covering the top with foil after 30 minutes to stop the cheese on top burning. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 30 minutes, like a steak, before serving.

 

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