This authentic lasagne alla Bolognese recipe transports me back to Bologna, Italy where, in 1989, I first tasted a true representation of the city's classic dish. Every claim to a Bolognese sauce I'd eaten up to that point fell short. Way short. This recipe, however, is what you're looking for. A meaty, slow simmered sauce combined with a velvety white sauce blanketed in layers upon layers of tender fresh pasta is truly something to relish. It's not a quick dinner. No, this dish takes time and care. It's laborious, but not difficult. Taking the time to buy the right (and quality) ingredients will ensure your lasagne turns out perfetto. So pour yourself a glass of wine. The delicious fun is about to begin.
Lasagne alla Bolognese (Lasagne with Meat Sauce)
Recipe from Eataly
6 sheets fresh pasta
For the Besciamella (Bechamel) Sauce:
5 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For the Ragù:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup butter
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1/4 pancetta, ground (ask your butcher to grind it for you if you don’t have a grinder at home)
1 pound ground veal
1/2 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup tomato paste
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, to taste
For the pasta:
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Add the fresh pasta sheets and cook for 1 minute.
Remove and place in a bowl of ice water. Remove pasta immediately and dry on clean cloth towels.
For the Ragù:
In a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil and butter.
Add onions, celery and carrots and cook until very soft and beginning to caramelize (brown).
Mix together all of the meats in a bowl. Add the meats to the pan and cook until they begin to brown. Add the wine and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated (it should be moist around the edges of the meat).
Add the tomato paste and stir well. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for 2 hours.
For the Besciamella (béchamel) Sauce:
In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until melted. Add flour and stir until smooth. Cook until a light golden brown, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add milk to butter and flour mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth, and bring to a boil. Cook 30 seconds and remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Assemble the lasagne in a 10-by-20-inch pan: spread a layer of ragù over the bottom and top with a sprinkling of Parmigiano, a layer of pasta, a layer of besciamella, another layer of ragù, a sprinkling of Parmigiano and pasta. Repeat until all the ingredients are used up, finishing with a layer of pasta topped with besciamella and a sprinkling of Parmigiano.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until the edges are browned and the sauces are bubbling. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.