Monday, April 7, 2008

Lasagna Bolognese

Lasagna Bolognese

Today was a beautiful day for Ohio spring weather. It was mostly sunny and almost 70 degrees. As I drove to the grocery I drove by a golf course and there were several people out getting in their first round in for the year. I was thinking that I might join them but then I realized I need to get back to what my task was for the day. Fixing my last hearty cold weather meal. Lasagna! I’m not talking about your simple meat sauce, noodles and cheese dish but Lasagna Bolognese. Not for the faint of heart or weak minded. This recipe is made with a long simmered sauce that makes this a dish to envy. It takes time and patience but you’ll love the end product. Enjoy!


1 box of lasagna noodles (cooked al dente)
1 Lg Jar of your favorite Marinara Sauce
1 15 oz tub of Ricotta Cheese
1 16 oz bag of shredded Mozzarella Cheese
2 C Grated Parmesan Rigiano
1 lb Lean Ground Beef
1 lb Bulk Italian Sausage
1 Tbs crushed red peppers
1 C white wine
½ C red wine
1 C whole milk
½ C water
1 C diced tomato
1 Tb Italian Herb Seasoning
2 Carrots diced
3 Stalks Celery diced
1 Med Onion
2 TB chopped chives
2TB chopped parsley
3 clove garlic chopped
1 6 oz jar Tomato Paste
Salt and Pepper

This dish is complex and there is prep to do before assembly of the Lasagna. First, we need to make the Bolognese sauce. In a large skillet start by browning the beef and Italian sausage. Once completely browned drain excess fat and set aside in a bowl. In the same skillet heat 2 TB olive oil and add the onion, celery, crushed red pepper, Italian herb seasoning and carrots and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about another minutes until it blossoms (aroma in the air). Add the meat back to the pan and tomato paste and heat through.

Deglaze the pan with the red and white wine and then add the water and milk. Cover and simmer for 90 minutes. If mixture gets a little dry add some chicken stock or more water. The mixture will look somewhat like a sloppy Joe consistency. Take off of heat and let cool.

While the Bolognese is cooling make the Ricotta cheese mixture. In a bowl add the cheese, chives and parsley and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble the dish:
Spread a ladle of marinara on the bottom of a 9X13 glass or ceramic baking dish and then cover with one layer of noodles. Add another ladle of marinara on top of the noodles then cover with a layer of the Bolognese meat sauce. Next add dollops of the ricotta cheese mixture and top with some of the shredded Mozzarella cheese.

Continue with two more layers and top with another layer of noodles. Top with more marinara and more Shredded Mozzarella and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning and fresh cracked pepper.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cover dish with aluminum foil and place in the oven on the middle shelf. Cook for 30 minutes and then remove the foil for the remaining 15 minutes to brown the cheese slightly. Let rest for 15 minutes before cutting into 9 large pieces

To serve, heat 3 cups each of marinara and Alfredo sauces. On a plate put one small ladle of Alfredo sauce and place one of the slices of lasagna on top and spoon a small amount of marinara on top. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and garnish with chopped parsley.