Classic Lasagna Bolognese

The definition of comfort food. Layers of pasta, Bolognese sauce, bechamel and shredded cheeses makes this dish well worth the effort. Once you make this lasagna it is the only way you will ever want to make it.

Lasagna is one those dishes that it doesn’t matter where you are from you are always excited to eat it. There are so many variations including vegetarian, eggplant, spinach and of course the classic Bolognese. All of those gooey layers are like getting a big hug. This is one of my favorite recipes to make but only when I have the time since it will take a few hours. However, the end result is well worth the effort and time.

In this recipe

This is one my of recipes that has quite a few ingredients in it as we are making everything. If you want to save yourself some time you can use store-bought pasta.

Tomatoes: you will want to use canned San Marzano tomatoes and crush them yourself for the best dish. You can use crushed tomatoes as well.

Protein: when I normally make this dish I will use veal and pork however ground beef and pork will work just as well. If you want an all beef or all pork lasagna feel free to substitute the other protein out.

Milk: this is going to be the base for your bechamel. I use whole milk as it will give you a much richer sauce. If you are going all in on the calories feel free to use half and half.

Ingredients for lasagna Bolognese on a wooden cutting board
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Making the Bolognese sauce

Whenever you see anything with Bolognese in it then it means it comes from the Bologna region of Italy. This sauce normally consists of mirepoix, ground veal and pork, wine, milk, and tomatoes. Normally I will chop the mirepoix (carrots, celery, and onion) by hand but this is one time I love to use the food processor. It gets everything nice and small which is perfect for eating. This sauce can be made ahead of time and simmered for several times to let the flavors really gel together.

A food processor of chopped mirepoix
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Mirepoix in a Dutch oven cooking
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Adding ground beef and pork to mirepoix in a Dutch oven
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Bolognese sauce in a Dutch oven
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Cooking roux in a saucepan
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Cooked bechamel in a saucepan
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When you are cooking the sauce you want to allow the wine to reduce by half before adding the milk and likewise before adding the crushed tomatoes. By using San Marzano tomatoes you are getting the best tomatoes for your sauce. Since they are whole they go through rigorous inspection to ensure only the best tomatoes are used. The remaining tomatoes will be used as diced, crushed or sauce.

Pasta cooking in water
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The first layer of the lasagna
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Uncooked lasagna Bolognese
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Cooked lasagna Bolognese in a blue casserole dish
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What is bechamel?

It is one of the French mother sauces. You can find it as a base for many recipes. In this case this would be the creamy sauce made with a roux, milk, and nutmeg. The roux is made by heating equal amounts of butter and flour by weight. Once the flour has been cooked before it starts to get darker you add the milk gradually and whisk or mix until it thickens. The top with some nutmeg. This layer is important for any lasagna Bolognese.

Close up of lasagna in a white bowl
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Making lasagna Bolognese

On of the things that you want to do is make sure that the pasta fits nicely in the baking dish so they aren’t curled up the sides of the baking dish. The next key step is to make sure that you place some bechamel and/Bolognese sauce on the bottom of the pan before adding the first layer of pasta. This will keep the lasagna from sticking when you are ready to take it out after cooking. Make sure you save enough mozzarella and parmesan to top the lasagna.

A white bowl with a slice of lasagna Bolognese
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Looking for other pasta recipes?

Cooked lasagna Bolognese in a blue casserole dish
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Classic Lasagna Bolognese

Sean
The definition of comfort food. Layers of pasta, ragu Bolognese, bechamel and shredded cheeses makes this dish well worth the effort.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 15 servings
Calories 446 kcal

Equipment

  • Dutch oven or large pot
  • Saucepan
  • Large pot
  • Food processor
  • 9 x 13 baking dish

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound lasagna pasta or fresh pasta dough
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese grated

Bolognese Sauce

  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 large carrots chopped
  • 1 onion medium, chopped
  • 28 ounces San Marzano tomatoes crushed
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup red wine
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon pepper
  • 2 bay leaves

Bechamel Sauce

  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup butter unsalted
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg ground

Instructions
 

Making the Bolognese sauce

  • In a food processor add the onion, carrot and celery and pulse until finely chopped. If you aren’t using a food processor then finely chop the onions, carrots and celery.
  • In a Dutch oven or large pot heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the vegetables and cook until everything has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and bay and cook for another 1 minute.
  • Add the ground pork and beef and cook until browned and cooked throughout. Add the wine and cook until it has reduced by half. Then add the milk and cook until it has reduced by half.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for an hour.

Making the bechamel sauce

  • In a saucepan heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk, nutmeg, and salt and cook until thickened and set aside.

Preparing the pasta

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente.
  • If you are using fresh pasta roll out the dough to the thinnest setting and add to the boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Set the pasta on a plate with a little water in it to keep them from sticking.

Making the lasagna

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, 177°C, or gas mark 4.
  • Spread a small amount of bechamel and/or Bolognese sauce on the bottom of the dish. Place the first layer of pasta across the bottom of the dish. Next add about a cup of Bolognese sauce.
  • Add about a ½ cup of bechamel sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella on top and repeat until you have filled the baking dish.
  • Top the final layer with the remaining mozzarella and the parmesan cheese.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.
  • Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 446kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 22gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 507mgPotassium: 481mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1742IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 247mgIron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimer*
Keyword Bolognese, Comfort food, Lasagna
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
lasagna Bolognese pinterest pin
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14 thoughts on “Classic Lasagna Bolognese”

  1. 5 stars
    I needed to take lasagna to a potluck and came across your version. This one is so classic and came out so good. Will be making it again for sure!

  2. 5 stars
    I rarely make lasagna at home because I haven’t found the perfect recipe but this was so good! Everything went well and it wasn’t even that complicated. Thank you!

  3. Jacqueline Debono

    5 stars
    Your lasagna looks really good. I love that you added mozzarella as we usually only use Parmigiano. I have to try your way!

  4. Loreto and Nicoletta

    5 stars
    Lasagna is one of those comfort dishes that I love. Your bolognese looks so rich and combined with the bechamel luxurious! 👌 Thus is a beautiful classic Italuan Sunday lunch meal!
    Thanks for sharing! 🙏

  5. 5 stars
    This lasagna was so good and easy to make! Such a comforting and hearty meal. Loved this for dinner last Sunday. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    I recently made this and it turned out really well. The layers of meaty sauce, pasta, and cheese were soooo delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe! 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    Everyone voted this delicious! It was so easy to make and the steps were really clear for this hack of a cook. Thanks for making me look fab!

  8. 5 stars
    You can never go wrong in serving this classic dish. Perfect for parties. Great for dinner on Sunday with the family. Make 2 and put one in the freezer.

  9. 5 stars
    This looks like such a great lasagna. I’ve never added béchamel to mine but you’ve inspired me to try it next time!

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