Looking for an Italian lasagna recipe that's just like the grandmothers make it in Bologna? Look no further!
Ingredients: serves 12
For the Ragù
2 carrots, diced
1 white onion, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
250 grams of Passata
500 grams (1 lb) ground beef 80/20 fat
500 grams (1 lb) ground pork 80/20 fat
1 cup of water or ½ glass of white or red wine
salt & ground pepper to season
For the béchamel
1 liter (1 quart) of whole milk
100 grams (7 tablespoons or a little less than 1/2 cup) of unsalted butter
80 grams (2/3 cup) all-purpose flour
Pinch of Nutmeg
Salt and ground pepper to season
For the Pasta
6 fresh lasagna pasta sheets
Fresh basil to garnish.
For the Ragu
Heat a healthy glug of olive oil in a large pan or dutch oven while you peel the carrot and the onion. Wash and dry the celery. Cut the three of them into tiny pieces. and cook them over a low heat until they are soft (roughly 2-5 minutes). Turn the heat to medium-high and add the ground beef and ground pork. When the meat has browned and the liquid it releases has evaporated, add the white wine and stir. When the water or wine has evaporated, add the passata, salt, and pepper. Stir again to mix the ingredients and let them cook on a low heat for at least an hour, or as I do 12 hours. Every hour stir it and add in a tablespoon of water to keep it moist.
For the Béchamel
Warm the milk in a saucepan, but don’t let it boil. In a separate saucepan, cube the butter and melt it over low heat. As soon as it has liquefied take it off the heat and gradually whisk in the flour, making sure that no lumps form. Place the pan with the butter and flour mixture back on a low heat and add your warm milk, salt, nutmeg and ground pepper. Stir rapidly with the whisk until it thickens and becomes smooth.
To assemble, pour a fine layer of bechamel on the bottom of your casserole dish. Cover it with a layer of ragu. Grate Parmigiano Reggiano over then place your pasta sheets on top of the ragu until you have covered it completely. Don’t allow them to overlap too much, you don’t want any double layers of pasta. Repeat the process in the same order as above until you reach 6 layers of pasta. On the very last layer of pasta place a slightly thicker layer of bechamel and ragù as it is the layer most exposed to the hot air of the oven and tends to dry up. Generously sprinkle some Parmigiano Reggiano on top.
Place the casserole dish in a pre-heated oven at 200c (390f) for about 25 minutes. You will know the lasagna is ready when you can see a golden crust around the outside edges on the top layer. Rest the lasagna for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.