January 8, 2014

Classic Lasagna Bolognese

Classic Lasagna Bolognese | The Naptime Chef

Superstorm Hercules blasted through our neighborhood last week. The snowfall wasn’t that bad, but the frigid temperatures that followed were awful. High temperatures in the teens and lows in the negatives took me right back to my upstate New York roots. Brrrr. Cold-weather cooking was clearly called for so I whipped up one of our favorites: lasagna. We are all fans of lasagna and I am always looking for new ways to make it. This time I drew inspiration from Food52 and decided on a classic recipe complete with bechamel.

This hot cheesy casserole was exactly what was called for on our cold winter weekend. I prepared it in the morning and slid it into the oven an hour before dinner time. Paired with crusty garlic bread and a big green salad it was the satisfying, belly-warming casserole we needed. I made this on the weekend so I had time to prepare it while my husband was with the kids. However, for naptime cooking I recommend concentrating on the ragu. Before dinner you can make the bechamel and assemble the casserole. I also used no-bake lasagna noodles which made things much, much easier.

I know this is just the start of winter weather and all the cooking that comes with it. This lasagna will certainly be going into our regular rotation along with the rest of our favorites!

More lasagnas for cold-weather cooking:

Artichoke Lasagna

Eggplant & Prosciutto Lasagna

Slow-Cooker Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna

Classic Lasagna Bolognese

Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

adapted from Food52

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  • p1 pound ground beef
  • 2 slice pancetta, finely chopped
  • ½ carrots, finely chopped
  • ½ celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 11/2 cups white wine
  • 8 ounces tomato puree
  • 31/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 cups cold whole milk
  • 4 ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound no-bake lasagna noodles


  1. 1. In a large skillet add a little olive oil and the meat. Brown the meat over medium heat, turning it over once or twice so it sears evenly. Once it has just cooked through remove the meat to a plate.
  2. 2. Add the pancetta to the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the carrots, celery, onions, parsley, and salt. Turn the heat to low and let the vegetables cook until they are completely soft. Return the meat to the pan and add enough wine to just cover the wine.
  3. 3. Once the wine has reduced by half add a splash or water, and the tomato puree, and cover the meat and simmer it on low heat for at least 2 hours, or until the ragu is thick and glossy.
  4. 4. Preheat to the oven to 350degrees F. As the ragu is finishing up make the béchamel sauce. Melt the butter in a pan and add the flour. Whisk for at least 2 minutes so the flour cooks and it turns a golden brown. Add the milk and whisk until the sauce is completely smooth and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  5. 5. Assemble the lasagna by spreading a small amount of ragu on the bottom of a 13x9 baking pan. Then top with a layer of lasagna noodles. Add a second layer of ragu, followed by a thin layer of béchamel and a sprinkle of Parmesan. Repeat this layer until all the noodles are used us. Finish with a layer of ragu, béchamel, and a heavy layer of Parmesan.
  6. 6. Bake the lasagna for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling around the edges. Allow the lasagna to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting and serving.