“Fresh egg pasta, meat sauce and bechamel” with these three ingredients you get the most famous and beloved dishes of Italian cuisine: the Lasagna alla bolognese, the queen of the italian festive table. It may seem quite difficult to cook but once you understand all the main steps and get some practice you will easily prepare a good one.
Here I am going to reveal some tips from the recipe that I borrowed during my stay in Bologna 😋
💡 Interesting to know:
Lasagna was already known in ancient Roman times, the word “laganon” and “laganum” indicated a thin sheet of pastry baked in the oven, obtained by the processing of a dough made of wheat flour. Various testimonies which have come down to us speak of a dish formed by thin sheets of pasta filled with meat and baked in the oven.
💡 Tips for a perfect home cooked lasagna:
- One of the basic steps of the Bolognese lasagna is ragù. The trick is to cook the sauce for at least an hour. Remember: the more time you cook the ragù, the more tasty it will be 😉
- Use home cooked besciamella sauce, it is more tastier than the one available at the supermarket
- To avoid a dry lasagna, cover each layer abundantly with the ragù and besciamella sauce. Try to maintain the same balance between lasagna sheets.
- To get a soft lasagna inside and with a crispy crust on top, cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake in the central part of a hot static oven at 180 degree celsius for about 30 minutes. Remove then the aluminum foil, transfer the pan to the upper floor of the oven and let it cook for another 15 minutes.
Let’s start with the meat sauce – ragù
- beef (minced beef) 300 g.
- carrots 50 g.
- celery 50 g.
- golden onions 50 g.
- red wine 100 g.
- tomato purée (passata) 300 g.
- extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp
- black pepper
Wash and chop finely carrots, onions, celery.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and fry vegetables for 5 minutes stirring occasionally until golden brown.
Add the minced beef and continue to cook for about 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly until it is browned.
Pour in the red wine, stir well and cook for 5 minutes until the alcohol has completely evaporated. Add the tomato purée (passata), adjust the taste with sault and pepper and add rosemary.
Lower the heat and cook for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until you get a beautiful rich meat sauce.
White sauce Besciamella
Ingredients for 1 liter of sauce
- butter 100 g.
- flour 100 g.
- milk 1 liter
- salt 1 pinch
- seasoning nutmeg 1 pinch
- mozzarella or other cheese (to add between layers when you assemble tha lasagna)
💡 The Besciamella sauce is one of the main ingredients of italian dishes, can be used for classic lasagna or cannelloni and also for flavoring meat dishes, boiled vegetables, fish and casseroles.
Pour the milk into a small saucepan and heat.
In the meanwhile melt the butter in another large saucepan over medium-low heat.
Add the flour to the melted butter stirring constantly with a whisk to prevent lumps from forming.
Pour gradually the preheated milk to the saucepan with melted butter and flour.
Lower the heat and cook for about 10 minutes whisking constantly until a homogeneous consistency is obtained.
Season with salt and pepper, add pinch of nutmeg and set aside to slightly cool.
Note: if the sauce is very liquid, you can adjust the consistency by adding more flour.
On the contrary, if the sauce is very thick, you can dilute it by adding more milk.
Do not forget to stir constantly the liquid so that it does not burn.
💡 once prepared the sauce you can freeze it, in this way it can be stored for up to a month.
Now ragù and besciamella sauce are ready, let’s assemble the lasagna
Add the besciamella sauce to ragù, leaving aside a little to spread on the base of the pan. In the meanwhile preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Spread some bechamel sauce and add a drizzle of oil in the bottom of a deep ovenproof dish.
Roll out the lasagne sheets on top, if necessary, cut them to fit the dish.
Spread ragù and bechamel sauce, sprinkle with parmesan and cover with pieces of mozzarella.
Again roll out the sheets of lasagne on top and cover with the sauce, add parmesan and pieces of mozzarella.
Place a final layer of lasagne sheets completely covering it with the sauce, sprinkle with parmesan and add small pieces of mozzarella.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Cook in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes at 180 °C, then remove the aluminum foil and place the dish in the upper layer of the oven for 15 minutes, raise the temperature to 200ºC until golden and crispy all over.
Set the dish aside to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Buon appetito! 😋