Lasagna Bolognese

Total Time:
5 hr 10 min
Prep:
1 hr
Cook:
4 hr 10 min

Yield:
10-12 servings
Level:
Intermediate

CATEGORIES
Ingredients
  • For the Ragu:
  • 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • 10 ounces white button mushrooms
  • 2 carrots, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 6 -ounce piece prosciutto, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup cognac or brandy
  • 1 28 -ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • For the Bechamel:
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • For the Lasagna:
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh lasagna sheets
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 pound parmesan, grated (2 to 3 cups)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella or fontina, grated (4 to 5 cups)
Directions

Make the ragu: Soak the porcini mushrooms in 2 cups hot water until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain the porcini, reserving the liquid.

Finely chop the porcini and white mushrooms in a food processor; transfer to a bowl. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, parsley and prosciutto to the processor; pulse until finely chopped.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Cook the ground beef and pork in batches, breaking them up with a wooden spoon, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the meat to a bowl. Add the wine to the pot, scraping up the browned bits. Add the liquid to the bowl with the meat.

Melt the butter in the pot; add the onion, chopped carrot mixture, the rosemary, bay leaves and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the tomato paste and mushrooms and cook, stirring, about 8 minutes.

Return the meat mixture to the pot. Add the cognac and scrape up the browned bits. Cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and the reserved mushroom soaking liquid. Crush the tomatoes with your hands over the pot and add with their juices. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 2 hours, 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the bechamel: Melt the butter in a wide saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, nutmeg, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; cook, whisking, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and cook, whisking, until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking, 10 more minutes.

Assemble the lasagna: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a few inches of salted water to a boil in a wide saucepan. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Line a baking sheet with a damp kitchen towel. Working in batches, boil the pasta until partially cooked, about 4 minutes, then remove with a skimmer and transfer to the ice water to cool. Remove the pasta sheets, shake off the excess water and arrange in a single layer on the towel. Cover the pasta with another damp towel.

Brush the bottom and sides of a deep 11-by-13-inch baking dish with the butter. Spread 1/2 cup ragu in the pan. Cover with a layer of pasta, then sprinkle with 1/3 cup parmesan and 2/3 cup mozzarella. Spread 1 1/2 cups ragu over the cheese and top with 1 cup bechamel. Repeat with 3 more layers each of pasta, parmesan, mozzarella, ragu and bechamel. Top with a layer of pasta, then cover with the remaining bechamel. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and mozzarella. Tuck the edges of the pasta into the baking dish with a knife.

Place the lasagna on a baking sheet to catch any drips; bake until bubbly and golden, about 40 minutes. Let rest 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Photograph by Anna Williams

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