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  • Writer's pictureErmanno Lelli

Lasagne alla Bolognese

I've been preparing lasagna for many years, and this is now my go-to recipe. The Bolognese is very delectable!

You can't beat Lasagne Alla Bolognese for Sunday lunches, a signature dish from Bologna, Italy. This meal, which originated in Emilia-Romagna, is rich and delicious. Additionally, lasagna is regarded as a truly emblematic Italian meal and is well-known, admired, prepared, remade, and enjoyed in Italy and beyond.

Green egg pasta layered with traditional ragù, béchamel, and grated cheese topped with another layer of the traditional ragù, béchamel, and grated cheese. Lasagna, as we know, comes in several and delicious versions, including the one with pumpkins and sausage in the fall or the one with mushrooms in the spring. This dish has the "richness" of classic Bolognese cuisine with each step of the preparation and throughout the ingredients. All you have to do is get ready for your special day and then sit down and eat it with your loved ones.


For Ragù Bolognese

10.6 oz. (300 g) minced, coarsely ground, and mixed beef

5.3 oz. (150 g) Pancetta bacon

½ cup (50 g) Carrots

½ cup (50 g) Celery

1 cup (50 g) Yellow onions

½ cup (100 g) Red wine

1 ¼ cup (300 g) Tomato puree

Vegetable broth, to taste

1 tbsp. Olive oil extra virgin 1 tbsp.

Black pepper & fine salt, to taste

For Green Pasta Sheets

250 g spinach

150g White flour

350g Semolina

2 Egg

3 egg yolks

For The Béchamel Sauce

0.3 cup (70 g) Butter

0.6 cup (70 g) Flour

1 quart (1 liter) Whole milk

1 pinch of fine salt

To taste, nutmeg

For Season

2.3 cups (270 g) Parmigiano Reggiano

Butter to taste


Begin With Making The Ragù Bolognese

First, prepare vegetable broth and keep it warm. Then, pick the pancetta bacon and thinly slice it before finely chopping it. Next, finely chopped the carrots, onions, and celery and set them aside separately.

Sprinkle olive oil in a saucepan and add the pancetta bacon. Spread it evenly with a ladle and let it for a few minutes to brown. Cook for 5-6 minutes after adding the chopped vegetables. Next, add the beef mince. Stir and turn the heat up. Allow the meat to brown slowly; it must be fully browned to seal the moisture and be tender. Deglaze the pan with red wine. Allow it to evaporate completely, then add the tomato puree.

Two hours are usually required for preparing the Bolognese sauce.

When it comes to a boil, add one or two ladles of hot broth and continue cooking the sauce for at least another couple of hours. Continue to cook it with the lid slightly ajar but not completely covering the pan. Periodically check and stir, add additional broth if needed, and allow it to cook. Turn off the heat, when ready.

Move To The Pasta Now

To begin, add the spinach to a saucepan with a bit of water and cover it with a lid and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until wilted. Drain, cool, and squeeze them thoroughly at this stage. Add the spinach to a food processor or blender and blend until puree forms. You'll need approx. 100 g (3.5 cups) of it.

Pour the semolina and flour onto a pastry board, add the spinach, and shape into a fountain. Combine the eggs, lightly beaten, in a separate bowl and egg yolks. Begin kneading everything from the center outward; this will ensure that the eggs do not fall out from the fountain. Knead the dough thoroughly until it becomes homogeneous.

Wrap it in cling film and set it aside at room temperature for a few minutes.

Now It’s Time To Prepare The Béchamel Sauce

In a saucepan, heat the milk without bringing it to a boil. In a separate pan, melt the butter. Add the flour all at once and continue cooking for a few minutes or until golden roux forms. Then, add the hot milk three times, stirring well after each addition. Season with salt and nutmeg. Continue mixing until you have a smooth béchamel. Pour to a bowl and wrap tightly in plastic wrap; set aside.

Cook The Pasta Sheets

After 30 minutes, return the dough and cut a piece. Wrap the remaining dough in plastic wrap to avoid it drying out. Flatten the dough slightly on the Dough Rolling Board with a sprinkle of semolina to form a rectangle, then roll it out in the machine. Begin with a thicker layer of dough and gradually thin it out. Sprinkle a little semolina on top if you think it is too wet. Reduce the thickness gradually until the sheet is slightly thicker than 0.2 inches (0.5 mm).

Put it on a Dough Rolling Board and cut it into 12x8-inch pieces (30x20 cm). Continue in this manner till the dough is finished.

Meanwhile, heat a pot of water with salt on the stove. Add one sheet at one time when the water starts boiling. 30-40 seconds later, drain it using a skimmer. With a cloth, take it out to a dish and dab away any excess water. Continue in a similar manner, but without overlapping the cooked sheets. Season with salt and pepper.

Assemble The Lasagna

Grease the bottom of a big 12x8 inch (30x20 cm) lasagna pan. Spread a thin béchamel layer and a layer of Bolognese sauce. Following that, place the first pasta sheet. Add another layer of béchamel sauce and another layer of Ragú Bolognese. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese. Continue layering pasta sheets in this manner until you have five layers. Finish with a layer of béchamel sauce, and add some diced butter. Sprinkle grated cheese on the top.

Bake for 40 minutes at 338°F (170°C) in a preheated oven. After removing the dish from the oven, allow it to cool for few minutes before serving. Enjoy the meal!

Order Bolognese Lasagna … layers of goodness… from casa pasta by Ermanno Lelli.

Chef’s Notes

  • You can increase the layers if you want.

  • Refrigerate the Bolognese sauce for a maximum of 2-3 days, tightly sealed in an airtight container. Freezing it is feasible.

  • If the sauce is too thick, add some more milk and if it is too runny, bring it to the heat; add a dab of butter combined with an equal quantity of all-purpose flour.


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