LASAGNA BOLOGNESE
 
 
Cooking Time: Simmer 2½-3 hours, partially covered
Bake time: 1 hr 15 minutes in preheated 350 F center rack
Yield: 12-15 servings
You will need: 14 ½ x11x2 lasagna pan
Author:
Recipe type: Lasagna
Cuisine: Italian
Ingredients
  • FOR THE RED RAGU SAUCE
  • 4 TBSP olive oil
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled (8 ounces)
  • 4 ribs celery (8 ounces)
  • 2 medium yellow onions (1 ¼ pounds)
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ pound 93% lean ground beef
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • ½ pound ground turkey
  • 2 beef bullion
  • 2 dry chili pepper, crushed with seeds
  • ¼- ½ tsp saffron (optional for a Persian touch)
  • 1 ½ tsp Persian rice spice (optional for a Persian touch)
  • 1 cup dry red wine (Cabernet or Shiraz)
  • 3 TBSP tomato paste
  • 2 (29-ounce each) cans of whole peeled tomatoes or tomato puree
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 1 tsp crushed dried basil leaves
  • One 16-ounce package of bacon, baked in the oven and added to the red sauce after 1½ hours
  • 3 TBSP butter (to be stirred in after the sauce is cooked)
  • FOR THE WHITE BECHAMEL SAUCE
  • 3 ounces butter
  • 7 TBSP flour
  • 2 ½ cups warm milk (microwave cold milk for about 2 minutes)
  • Salt ¼ tsp
  • ⅛ tsp freshly-cracked black pepper
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • FOR LASAGNA
  • 18 pieces of Barilla Oven-Ready Lasagne (Usually each box has 12 pieces)
  • 2 pounds mozzarella cheese, thin slices (will need about 36 slices)
  • 12 oz fresh grated Parmesan cheese (or Permigiano-Reggiano)
  • Extra fresh grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top
Instructions
  1. To make the red Ragu sauce: Peel and cut the carrots, celery and the onions into 1-inch pieces and fine chop in the food processor, separately.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick shallow stockpot. Add the chopped vegetables and sauté over medium-high heat until golden brown, 8-10 minutes, stir frequently and watch closely.
  3. Add the minced garlic to stockpot and sauté for an extra 1 minute. (Do not brown the garlic).
  4. Add to stockpot half pound each of, lean ground beef, ground pork and the ground turkey and brown over medium high for another 10 minutes. The purpose of high heat is to prevent the release of meat juices which would poach the meat instead of browning.
  5. Add 2 beef bullion, crushed chili pepper, and the optional saffron and Persian rice spice. Mix to blend with the ingredients in the stockpot.
  6. Add a cup of red wine and stir to blend. Cook over medium heat until all the wine is reduced (cooked off into the meat) about 5 minutes.
  7. Add 3 TBSP tomato paste and stir to combine, sauté for 3-4 minutes over medium heat.
  8. Add the 2 large cans of tomato puree and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and let it boil for 10 minutes (partially cover the pot to prevent splatter). Stir frequently.
  9. Add ⅔ cup milk and 1 tsp of crushed dried basil leaves. As soon as it comes to a low boil reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce with the lid partially open for 1 ½ hours. Stir occasionally.
  10. Add the cooked and chopped crisp bacon pieces into the sauce, stir and allow to simmer for about another 1 ½ hours, or until the sauce has the consistency of a thick spaghetti sauce. Partially cover the pot with the lid. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.
  11. Remove the sauce from heat and add 3 TBSP butter and stir to melt the butter.
  12. To make the white Bechamel sauce: In a large microwave-safe bowl heat 2 ½ cups of milk until very warm to touch (not boiling)
  13. In a medium (2-qt size) nonstick saucepan melt 3 ounces butter, add 7 TBSP flour and stir constantly over medium heat until light tan color with a mild nutty aroma.
  14. Carefully and gradually add the warm milk and use a silicon-covered whisk to blend the sauce until smooth. Reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking and whisking for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens and small air pockets start popping on the surface of the sauce.
  15. Add salt, fresh-ground black pepper and nutmeg and stir to blend. Set aside.
  16. To assemble Lasagna Bolognese: Preheat oven to 350 F Center rack
  17. Spread ¼ of the red sauce in the bottom of the lasagna pan.
  18. Place 6 Barilla no-boil noodles on top of the sauce.
  19. Spread ⅓ of the remaining sauce on the noodles.
  20. Drizzle ⅓ of the white sauce over the red sauce.
  21. Sprinkle 4 oz of the grated Parmesan cheese over the sauce
  22. Arrange 12 pieces of the sliced mozzarella cheese over the Parmesan cheese.
  23. Continue layering in the same order; Barilla noodles, red sauce, white sauce, grated Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese slices, until all the ingredients have been used up. The top layer will be mozzarella cheese slices. Make sure are the noodles are covered since they will need the moisture from the sauces to cook.
  24. Cover the pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, and poke several holes with a fork.
  25. Place the covered pan on a baking sheet to catch any drippings and place both on the center rack of the preheated 350⁰F oven. The pan will be heavy.
  26. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the cheese melts and is light golden brown. The sauce will be bubbling around the edges of the pan.
  27. Allow the lasagna to rest on a rack for 10 minutes. Slice into 12 or 15 pieces.
  28. Serve Lasagna Bolognese with extra grated Parmesan cheese, slices of garlic breadand a salad. Enjoy!!
Notes
If you want to make this recipe ahead of time: You may do by baking the Lasagna Bolognese, slicing it, cool it in the fridge and either:
1 - store it covered in the refrigerator for up to two days and warm it up in a 250 F oven until heated through (takes around 40 minutes or so, check to make sure it is completely hot inside before serving), OR
2 - Freeze the slices by putting them in a freezer safe airtight container after covering them up well with an aluminum foil. When ready to serve, defrost in the fridge for 24 hours, then follow the #1 instructions.
Recipe by Persian Mama at http://persianmama.com/lasagna-bolognese/