Lasagna Bolognese is part of the world’s cuisine, one of the richest and most delicious dishes you can find among the first courses. But above all the baked lasagna with ragù and béchamel is one of the jewels of the Bolognese tradition, an ancient recipe, of Roman origin, so much so that the word lasagna itself derives from the Latin “Lagana”. Consider that his recipe book Apicius speaks of “Lagana”, a plate of various sheets of pasta made with flour and water stacked and then stuffed with meat sauce.
Over the centuries they have been enriched and also adapted to the ingredients and uses of the various Italian regions. So much that in the Middle Ages lasagne was a very famous dish loved by gastronomes of the time. Today Italy boasts an impressive myriad of lasagna, seasoned in the most unusual ways, however, the version that has conquered the whole world is the Bolognese Lasagna.
What is Lasagna alla Bolognese?
They are a perfect synthesis of Bolognese cuisine, a score that instead of sheets includes strips of Emilian dough which is first boiled and then stacked in a pan and seasoned with Bolognese meat sauce, béchamel and Parmigiano Reggiano. This is why it takes time, dedication and high-quality ingredients to make the true lasagna alla bolognese.
It is not that the recipe of Bolognese lasagna is difficult to make, you can also buy everything: dry pasta, ragù in a jar, béchamel in a carton and grated Parmesan, you compose it and you’re done. The result will be atrocious, but, hey, you could say I’ve done Lasagna: easy cake.
Jokes aside, making lasagna is not a joke, even just to make the sauce you need at least 3 hours. Then add the time to make the pasta-dough-sfoglia and the bechamel and then you have to cook the lasagna in the oven.
But don’t worry, we got the recipe od a great restaurant, Osteria del Vicolo, where lasagna is an institution, a reason for living, rather than a simple dish. A note before starting: Bolognese lasagna is always made with green pasta, so remember to add boiled spinach or chard boiled to the dough.
The recipe you with is a real guide to the perfect lasagna, subdivided into more recipes to make the Emilian green pasta and Bolognese ragù to perfection: the two cornerstones of any self-respecting lasagna.
Lasagna bolognese ingredients
For the pasta layers
- 2 eggs
- 230 grams of flour
- 30 grams spinach, well-drained and chopped
For making bolognese ragù
- 25 grams of butter
- 50 grams of parma ham or chopped bacon
- 250 grams of ground beef
- 250 grams of minced pork
- 500 grams canned tomatoes (pelati)
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 piece of chopped celery
- 1 chopped carrot
- 1 glass of dry white wine
- 2 glass of broth
- extra virgin oil
- salt, pepper, a hint of nutmeg
For making a classic, medium-density bèchamel
- 40 grams of butter
- 40 grams of flour
- 1/2 liter of milk
- salt, white pepper
- Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
How to make the real Lasagna alla Bolognese
The most important step is to prepare ragù in advance, so you can take care of bèchamel and pasta with ease. Here you can find a step-by-step recipe for making bolognese ragù, then you can come back here for the second phase of our lasagna project.
Now, about bèchamel sauce: melt butter on low heat in a thick saucepan, then pour flour and stir with a wooden spoon, being careful to not burn it.
Pour milk little by little, keep stirring, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and add a sprinkle of nutmeg. Let it simmer for 5 minutes, constantly stirring.
For making pasta, here’s another great recipe for you, we’ve warned you this is not a walk in the park… Pay attention, the real recipe requires a bit of boiled spinach, so chop them and add to the flour/eggs mix before kneading like a pro.
When the dough is ready, roll it out and cut it off the same size as your baking dish, let’s say that a 20X20X4 cm is ok for 4-6 servings.
Now boil all your lasagna layers for 3 minutes, 2 or 3 at a time, we don’t want to completely cook them!
Drain and quickly put them in a bowl of cold salted water, then put them on a towel.
Grease your loyal baking dish with 10 grams of butter.
Lay down the first layer of your lasagna and season with abundant meat sauce, bèchamel sauce, and Parmesan cheese.
Then continue for five layers and finish with bèchamel and grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Cover tightly with tinfoil and bake lasagna at 180°C-200°C for 10 minutes, take away the tinfoil and cook for 15 more minutes.
Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
If you are not in the mood for green lasagna or you don’t like spinach you can make a simple white dough lasagna.
What wine goes well for lasagna alla bolognese?
To create the right harmony with the dish we need a full body wine, with firm tannins and a round fruit that can withstand the shock of meat sauce and béchamel: Sangiovese Superiore Primosegno, from organic winery Villa Venti, is a beautiful wine for depth and drinkability, one of the best lasagna wine you can find around! Brunello di Montalcino, Barolo, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon or Aglianico are great options too.
If you want to pair a cocktail, the choice is easy: Americano.