This is your next Lasagna Bolognese recipe for when you want to go the extra mile. We’ve made the bolognese from scratch, now let’s make fresh noodles and a béchamel.
Eat Up! Kitchen is about putting in a little extra effort to learn more about cooking and where your food comes from. Lasagna is fantastic dish to learn a few different cooking skills with little chance of failure. You could certainly buy no-boil noodles, a jar of sauce, pre-shredded cheese, assemble and bake a lasagna in about an hour. Or you could decide that you want to learn how to make pasta, how to make a meat sauce, and how to make a béchamel. You might even want to learn these skills with your friends and family and eat this magnificent lasagna together! That’s my favorite part.
As you might suppose from the name, Lasagna Bolognese is lasagna with a bolognese meat sauce. Bolognese is a rich, tender, savory sauce of beef and pork slowly braised in a mixture of tomato paste, chicken stock, white wine, and milk. It’s heavenly. And it takes about 5 hours. So, I made a whole recipe for it over here Bolognese. I’ve made the bolognese and the lasagna bolognese all in one day but I suggest you might divide it into two days. Not only is it a little easier on your social life, the sauce tastes better the following day.
Now that you have the bolognese all ready to go, let’s make some lasagna noodles. I make pasta quite a bit and I’ve found I prefer using the semolina and water recipe compared to traditional flour and eggs. Semolina noodles have a heartier ‘tooth’ and a better flavor which I think works exceptionally well for large lasagna noodles. Here are two recipes I’ve made recently with semolina noodles and flour noodles.
This semolina dough comes together and kneads out beautifully in about 10 minutes. Form it into a ball, wrap it with plastic, and store it in the fridge for at least a half hour. Divide the dough into quarters. Place 3/4th back in the fridge while you work with one quarter. Use the heal of our hand to form the dough into a rectangle. Dust with semolina and roll it through a pasta machine starting on 0 and finishing at 6. Continue to dust as needed to prevent sticking. Cut the long sheet of dough into smaller segments about the length of your lasagna pan. Lay the dough out uncovered on a flat surface that’s been lightly dusted with semolina. Repeat with the remaining dough. Total dough time including 30min resting in the fridge is about an hour and ten minutes.
Once all the dough is cut it’s time to make the béchamel. Fun Fact: Béchamel is a French culinary Mother Sauce originating in Italy. If you add cheese to a béchamel you’ve made a Mornay. Lasagna Bolognese does not traditionally include cheese so, no mornay today. The ratio for béchamel is 2 Tbs fat to 2 Tbs flour to 1 Cup liquid. We’re going to need 3 cups of milk so we’ll need 6 tablespoons each of butter and flour. Yay math! When making the béchamel it’s best to use two pots. In one pot you’ll bring the milk up to temp just before it starts to simmer while the butter is melting in another pot. Warm milk will help prevent lumps when its added to the roux (butter and flour). Cold milk is okay but you’ll be whiskey a little extra hard to get those lumps out. Once the milk is incorporated, season the béchamel with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
I think lasagnas with a lot of layers look better than those with just a few layers. And I like to eat foods that look good. This is partly the reason why I wanted to make my own noodles – so I had control over their thickness. The other reason I wanted to make fresh noodles was so I didn’t have to worry about cooking them. There’s enough liquid in the béchamel and bolognese to cook the fresh pasta right in the pan. When you’re assembling your lasagna bolognese, don’t be afraid to add a little extra sauce. It’s going to get sucked right up by the noodles. Of course, I also wanted to make fresh noodles because fresh pasta tastes way better.
Start assembling your lasagna bolognese with a thin layer of bolognese sauce on the bottom of the pan. This will prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom. Then alternate layers of pasta, béchamel, and bolognese until you’re out of ingredients. I recommend using a pan that’s a little smaller but taller so you can get even more layers and nice thick piece of lasagna. Bake the lasagna bolognese in a preheated 375°F oven for about an hour. Top with freshly grated Pecorino Romano and minced parsley.
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