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- Difficulty Moderate
- Prep 20 minutes
- Cook 3 hours
- Servings 5 people
Lasagna Bolognese (actually Lasagne alla Bolognese in Italian) is a fresh pasta first course from the Italian culinary tradition that, as you can guess from the name, originate from Bologna, Italy. A tasty pasta dish perfect to serve for a dinner with friends or family, known and appreciated all over the world.
This is the authentic recipe for Lasagne alla Bolognese, like the ones you would eat in Bologna (Italy). And, just to be clear, no, we don’t use mozzarella or ricotta at all in Italy (at least not in the Bolognese style variant). Bolognese Lasagna is made with layers of fresh egg pasta (lasagna noodles), Bolognese Sauce, white sauce (bechamel) and grated Parmigiano Cheese.
This recipe is composed of three steps: making lasagna noodles, making bolognese sauce and preparing white sauce. You can make the fresh pasta yourself (instructions below) or you can buy it ready made (look carefully for an authentic Italian flat lasagna, oven ready without needing for cooking or boiling).
Why are Italian Lasagne Bolognese green? Because official Bolognese Lasagna is made with green (spinach) noodles! That’s the traditional way to prepare them, but you can very easily find them also in the yellow egg pasta version.
To prepare Lasagne alla Bolognese start by making Bolognese Sauce (check out the full recipe here): brown inside a thick-bottomed pan the oil along with the finely chopped onion, celery and carrot. Then add the bacon and, after a minute, the ground meat: sauté over a high flame for a few minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon, thus breaking up the meat and, once browned, season with salt and pepper to taste. Deglaze with white wine, let it evaporate, add the tomato puree and the two tablespoons of concentrate, stir, and cook for about two hours over very low heat.
In the meantime, cook the spinach in a pot with some water, and once it is tender, it is ready to be salted and finally drained. Pass them under running water to stop the cooking, squeeze them, pass them inside a blender and chop them finely. Then knead by hand or with a planetary mixer the eggs, flour and the spinach itself until you obtain a homogeneous and elastic dough, wrap it in plastic wrap to rest at room temperature for at least an hour.
While the dough is resting, prepare the béchamel sauce by placing a saucepan with the butter on the stove; once the butter has melted, add the sifted flour, stirring with a whisk, taking care that no lumps are created; let it brown.
Pour in all the milk, continuing to mix everything well with a whisk. Add a little nutmeg, salt and let it cook for at least 15 minutes.
After the resting time has elapsed, roll out the pastry sheet on a floured surface using a rolling pin and, using a well-sharpened knife, cut out rectangles slightly smaller than the size of your pan. Fill a high-sided lasagna pan with some salted water and a drizzle of oil and bring it to a boil: submerge one rectangle of dough at a time and, once it rises to the surface, transfer it to a bowl with cold water.
Place a light layer of white sauce on the bottom of the pan, place one or more rectangles of pasta on top (so as to cover the bottom well), make a layer with the bolognese sauce, spread a layer of white sauce and sprinkle with plenty of grated Parmesan. Repeat these steps until the pan is completely filled, being careful to finish it all off with a final layer of white sauce and grated Parmesan.
Bake in a ventilated oven at 356°F (180°C) for about forty-five minutes until golden brown on the outside and piping hot on the inside. If the first layer of lasagna should overcook while in the oven, cover the pan with foil.
When finished cooking, take your Lasagne alla Bolognese out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving them to your guests.