Bolognese & white sauce lasagna

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Here’s a comforting and delicious recipe for Italian-style lasagna, inspired by Big Mamma’s recipes. 

A very tasty meal! The trick is to mix the béchamel and the meat sauce directly. My personal touch: add mushrooms!

Enjoy the lasagna with some raw veggies and salad.

Bolognese & white sauce lasagna

Servings 6
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 box of lasagna pasta

For the filling

  • 350 g ground beef
  • 350 g sausage meat pork
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 large celery stalk
  • 1 large yellow or red onion
  • 300 g brown mushrooms optional
  • 500 g diced tomatoes fresh or tinned depending on season
  • 250 ml red wine a good strong red wine such as Corbières for example
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • Olive oil
  • 1 mozzarella di buffala optional – approx. 125/150 g
  • Parmesan cheese optional

For the béchamel sauce (white sauce)

  • 40 cl whole milk
  • 30 g flour
  • 30 g butter
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  • Peel the onions and cut them into strips if you want to keep their chewiness, or chop them into small pieces otherwise.
  • Finely chop the garlic as well as the celery and carrots (cut them into fine sticks and then chop the sticks).
  • Heat a generous drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan or pot and fry the onions for 3 minutes on a medium heat. Add the garlic, carrots and celery sticks and fry for 6/7 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the meat. Coarsely cut and crush the minced meat (beef + pork).
  • Clean the mushrooms and cut them into slices or small quarters (optional).
  • Add the meat to the mixture and, if necessary, a little oil, and brown the meat for 7/8 minutes, stirring.
  • Then add the mushrooms and fry for 2/3 minutes (optional).
  • Then add the wine and simmer for a good ten minutes.
  • Finally, add the tomatoes and tomato paste, as well as the herbs. Mix well and simmer on a low heat for at least 30 minutes, longer if you have time (one hour).
  • Meanwhile, prepare the béchamel sauce. Heat the milk to 50/60°C (approximately, the main thing is that it is hot). Then melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the flour as soon as the butter has melted and stir well. Cook for a few minutes (do not let it turn brown).
  • Then pour in the hot milk little by little, stirring constantly with a whisk, and leave to cook over a low heat for 5 to 10 minutes until the mixture thickens, continuing to stir well to homogenise the sauce.
  • Once the sauce is thick, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg (freshly grated if possible). Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • When the meat sauce has finished simmering, remove the bay leaves and thin out the sprigs of thyme and rosemary in the sauce.
  • Set aside two ladles of béchamel, then add the rest of the béchamel to the sauce and mix gently. Add freshly grated Parmesan cheese to the mixture if necessary.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Butter or oil a rectangular dish (27cm x 15cm). Brush the bottom of the dish with a thin layer of filling (or if you have some tomatoes / tomato sauce left over, you can also just put a layer of tomato). Then place a first layer of pasta, cover with a generous amount of filling, and repeat the process twice. Make sure you cover the entire surface of the pasta with the sauce so that the pasta does not dry out during cooking.
  • To finish, place a final layer of pasta. Cover with the remaining béchamel sauce and, if necessary, add slices of mozzarella and/or sprinkle with the remaining sauce.
  • Cook for 30 minutes at 180°C. Check the cooking of the pasta with a knife and extend it a little if necessary. Leave to cool for a few minutes before enjoying this meal!

Notes

You can also skip the last layer of pasta and simply cover the last layer of filling with sliced mozzarella (you’ll need 2 pieces) and parmesan cheese.
You can also add ground veal (in the same proportion as the other meats) – like in the original Big Mamma recipe.
Mushrooms are my personal touch, I find they add even more flavour and texture. If you have porcini mushrooms on hand, it’s even more delicious!  I use less meat this way. But you can also remove completely the meat by adding more mushrooms and possibly adding rehydrated soy protein with a little soy sauce and smoked paprika for example.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian

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