The mother of all Italian dishes, it can be deliriously good and excruciatingly awful, depending on the chef. I once had a flatmate while I was a student in Barcelona called Marián, who baked the pasta sheets between layers of fried mince meat and served it as a masterpiece, poor thing. I ate it but suffered immensely in the process. At the other end of the spectrum, are the absolute delights you get served in Italy. I was lucky enough to be invited to a wedding in Perugia where the food was just. simply. incredible. This is one of the recipes I managed to get my hands on. Enjoy! Enjoy!
For the Bolognese:
Ingredients for Bolognese
For the bechamel.
Ingredients for Bechamel
Lets start with the Bolognese sauce. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrot, onion, celery and pancetta and cook, stirring, until vegetables are lightly golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ground beef, ground pork and cook until beef is no loner pink. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, and wine and bring to a simmer. Partially cover the pan, and cook the sauce at a low simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Turn on the oven to 180C.
While the bolognese is bubbling, make the béchamel. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook, stirring, until golden. Gradually whisk in the milk and bring the mixture to just under a boil. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Add the grated parmesan. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Now it’s time to “build” the lasagne. Get your hands on a rectangular baking dish and place an initial layer of lasagna sheets in the bottom.Cover with about one-fifth of each: the Bolognese sauce, the béchamel, and the cheese. Cover with another layer of pasta. Top with another layer of sauce, béchamel, and cheese. Repeat this step two more times for a total of four layers, saving some sauce, béchamel, and cheese for the top.
To finish, top with the remaining sauce, béchamel, and cheese.
Bake until the top is brown and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Let the lasagne rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.
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