Updated: Jan 11
It's no secret that a good lasagna is a work of art, and sometimes takes as long to prepare. This version is a little less time consuming by swapping out a Bechamel sauce for a stir-it-all-together white sauce. You may end up with extra Bolognese, which you can store in the freezer for a few months (bonus!). You can also freeze leftover lasagna in slices. Wrap individual portions in plastic wrap, then store in a container or ziplock bag. Allow to thaw for a few minutes before removing the plastic wrap, drizzle with a little olive oil, then reheat in a 350 ° oven until hot and bubbly.
For the Bolognese:
1 red onion, diced
4 sticks celery, diced
1 pint mushrooms, sliced
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork or Italian sausage (optional but delicious)
2 T tomato paste
2 T white or red wine vinegar
3 cans of whole unsalted tomato (~16 oz. each)
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 T. black pepper
1 head of garlic, chopped
1 bag of spinach, chopped (optional)
1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat (6 or 7 out of 10). Add 1/4 cup olive oil, onion, celery, mushroom, and 1 t. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft and mushrooms have given up most of their water, 10-15 minutes (there shouldn't be any vegetable water left on the bottom of the pot).
2. Stir in beef and pork. Continue to cook, scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally, until meat is browned and sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add tomato paste and vinegar, cook 2-3 minutes., stirring constantly.
3. Add remaining ingredients, season with one more pinch of salt, and let cook at a slow simmer for at least 30 minutes. Allow to cool before building the lasagna or storing.
For the white sauce:
16 oz. whole milk ricotta (get that fat-free abomination out of your kitchen)
2 cups Romano or asagio cheese, finely shredded (divided into 1 cup portions)
8 oz. mozzarella, shredded (divided in two)
1 cup whole milk
2 T. olive oil
salt and a pinch of pepper
4. In a medium bowl, stir together all the ingredients, keeping out half of the cheese to top the lasagna with. Refrigerate until you're ready to build the lasagna.
For the Lasagna:
1 box lasagna noodles, boiled (I won't judge you for using the no-boil noodles, though. I don't live your life)
Fresh basil and parsley, for garnish.
5. Heat oven to 375° . Grease a 9x13" pan with some olive oil. Layer some bolognese, then the cheese mix, then pasta. Press down gently (not enough to squeeze stuff out of the sides, just enough to compact the layers to make room for more!). Repeat until you're out of pasta. You want to end with a layer of red sauce then white sauce.
6. Top with fresh basil, drizzle with olive oil, the cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes, remove foil, then top with remaining cheese and a little more oil. Lower heat to 325° and continue to bake until golden and bubbly, another 30-45 minutes. Finish under a broiler if necessary. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before cutting into.