Lasagna Bolognese is perhaps the meatiest and most savory lasagna in existence! The noodles are tender, the bechamel is creamy, rich, and luscious, and the seasonings are herbaceous, but it's the homemade slow-cooked ragu is the real star of the show: it’s filled with juicy beef and pork in a mellow and sweet tomato sauce, with pieces of prosciutto and mushroom to enhance the meat flavor. Lasagna Bolognese takes patience to perfect, but the result is a perfect meal!
IngredientsFor the ragu: • 1 cup porcini mushrooms, dried • 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 rosemary, chopped • 2 bay leaves • kosher salt, to taste • 5 tablespoons tomato paste • 1/2 cup cognac or brandy • 2 cups water • 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes For the bechamel: • 3/4 cup unsalted butter • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated nutmeg • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, or to taste • 6 cups whole milk For the lasagna: • kosher salt, to taste • 1 1/2 pounds lasagna sheets • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened • 2-3 cups parmesan, grated • 4-5 cups mozzarella or fontina, grated
Soak the porcini mushrooms in hot water until soft, about 30 minutes.
Drain the mushrooms, but reserve the liquid for later.
Finely chop the porcini mushrooms and white button mushrooms in a food processor, and place the mixture in a mixing bowl.
Add the carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, and prosciutto to the food processor, pulsing until finely chopped.
In a large pot over high heat, heat the oil.
Add the ground beef and ground pork and cook until browned, about 6-8 minutes.
Transfer the meat into a bowl.
Add the wine to the pot and scrape up the browned bits at the bottom.
Add the wine mixture to the bowl with the meat.
Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in the pot.
Reduce the heat to medium-high
Add in the onion, the carrot mixture, the rosemary, the bay leaves, and the salt.
Allow the mixture to cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 12 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and the mushroom mixture and cook, stirring constantly, about 8 minutes.
Return the meat mixture to the pot.
Add the cognac and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
Add the 2 cups of the water and the liquid from the mushroom soaking.
With your hands, crush the tomatoes over the pot.
Allow the pot to simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Allow the ragu to cool entirely.
Over medium heat, melt the 3/4 of the butter in a saucepan.
Add in the flour, nutmeg, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper.
Whisk while cooking for 2-3 minutes.
Slowly whisk in the milk and cook until thickened, about 5-10 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and whisk for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a wide saucepan, bring a few inches of water to a boil.
Fill a large bowl with ice water.
Boil the pasta in batches until partially cooked, about 4 minutes or according to package directions.
Transfer the partially cooked pasta to the ice water.
Remove the cooled pasta sheets from the ice water, shaking off the water.
Arrange the pasta in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Prepare an 11x13 baking dish by brushing the sides and bottom of the dish with the remaining butter.
Spread 1/2 cup of the ragu in the prepared pan.
Cover the ragu in the pan with a layer of the pasta, followed by 1/3 cup of the parmesan and 2/3 cup of the mozzarella.
Spread 1 1/2 cups of ragu over the cheese.
Top with 1 cup of the bechamel.
Repeat the layers with the remaining pasta, ragu, cheeses, and bechamel, topping the lasagna with the bechamel and the remaining parmesan and mozzarella.
Place the lasagna on a baking sheet to catch any drips.
Bake until bubbly and golden, about 40 minutes.
Let the Lasagna Bolognese rest for a full 30 minutes before serving.