Lasagne Bolognese

Entree number two from the Father’s Day 2011 Italian Feast.  Since the other entree, Chicken Parm, was full of tomatoes and cheese, I needed a different kind of entree.  I’m much enamored of Bolognese sauce so Iwas pleased to see a recipe for a Bolognese lasagne in my Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.  I know, you’re thinking, “What?! How can you have lasagne without layers of tomatoes and cheese?!”  Trust me, this sauce more than makes up for the missing cheese.  

This is another plan ahead kind of dish.  The sauce has to cook for three or more hours.  I had this going on the stove at the same time as the Chunky Tomato Sauce and that worked out well.  Once the sauce is made this is pretty easy.  It’s just layers of noodles and sauce.  Add a little Parmesan cheese and you’re good to go.

I put this together the day before.  I cooked the whole wheat lasagne noodles about 1/2 way.  I’m not sure that was even necessary since they sat in the sauce overnight, but I was concerned about them being undercooked.  If you’re going to be serving the lasagne the day you make it you’ll want to cook the noodles to al dente before you layer them.  You’ll only have to bake the lasagne about 15 minutes that way.  Then let it stand another 10-15 minutes.  If you’re serving the lasagne a day or two after you put it together I recommend putting the noodles in raw.  You’ll bake the dish 25-30 minutes then.  Gotta love a lasagne you don’t have to bake for an hour or more.

This dish is rich and creamy and wonderful.  You’ll want to serve it with a salad to provide some balance.  You’ll be able to eat a bigger piece that way!

Good? YUM!
Easy? No. The two sauces make this a challenge.
Good for company? They’ll be very impressed.
Special shopping? No.

Lasagne Bolognese


1 full recipe Bolognese sauce
15-20 lasagne noodles
3 C Bechamel sauce (see below)
4 T butter, melted

Bechamel Sauce

3 C milk
6 T butter
4 1/2 T flour
1/2 T salt


Heat the milk in a sauce pan. Do not let it reach a simmer. In a small stock pot melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until it is fully incorporated. Add heated milk a few tablespoons at a time, whisking constantly until each addition is incorporated. Once you’ve added 10-12 tablespoons of milk add the rest 1/2 C at a time. Continue whisking. Cook sauce over low heat until it becomes thick and creamy. This will take 10-15 minutes more.

Lasagne Directions

Add melted butter and 4-5 T of Bechamel to your lasagne pan.  Mix remaining Bechamel with Bolognese sauce.  Line lasagne pan with noodles.  Cover with a thin layer of sauce.  Sprinkle some parmesan over the sauce.  Repeat noodle, sauce and parmesan layers, ending with sauce.  Ideally you’ll have 5-6 layers of noodles.  Top with a little more parmesan.  Bake at 400.  15 minutes for cooked noodles and 25-30 minutes for raw noodles.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


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