Lasagne Bolognese

This is a bit different than “traditional” lasagne. There’s no mozzarella or ricotta, but the wonderful flavor comes from white wine and a luscious creamy bechamel. It won the family side-by-side taste comparison, 6 – 3. And the three kids preferred it to traditional! Even though it’s a bit more sophisticated flavor profile.

Meat Sauce
1 medium carrot, peeled
1 medium celery rib
1 small onion, roughly chopped (not more than 1 cup)
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes with juice
2 T butter
8 oz ground beef
8 oz ground pork
8 oz ground turkey (or veal)
1½ c whole milk (or substitute 5/8 c skim milk + 3/8 c half and half for 1 cup whole milk)
2 T tomato paste
1½ c dry white wine
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper

4 T unsalted butter
1/4 c flour
4 c whole milk
3/4 t salt

15 sheets Barilla no-boil lasagne noodles
4 oz parmesan (2 cups grated)

Process carrot, onion and celery in Cuisinart until finely chopped. Melt butter in saute pan and add vegetables. Saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Add ground meats and cook about 1 minute, then add milk and cook over medium heat until almost all liquid is evaporated, 20 – 30 minutes. Break the meat up into smaller and smaller bits as it cooks.

Add wine and bring to a simmer, then cook down until almost all liquid is evaporated, another 20 – 30 minutes. Add tomato paste. Chop tomatoes and juice in the cuisinart and add to meat mixture, along with salt and pepper. Simmer another 15 minutes, til sauce is slightly thickened. You should have about 6 cups. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool, until it’s just warm to the touch.

To make bechamel, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour for about a minute and a half. Gradually whisk in milk, bring to a full boil, whisking frequently. Recuce heat to medium-low and simmer another 10 minutes, making sure to scrape the bottom and corners of saucepan. You’ll have about 3 1/3 cups. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool, until just warm to the touch.

Add 3/4 c bechamel to meat mixture and stir to combine. Distribute 1 c meat mixture on bottom of a 13 x 9 inch pan. Put 3 noodles in pan. Spread 1 1/4 c meat mixture on top, followed by 1/3 c bechamel. Don’t worry that it doesn’t go all the way to the edge of the pan. Sprinkle 1/3 c parmesan evenly over bechamel. Repeat 3 times. Place final 3 noodles on top and cover completely with remaining bechamel Sprinkle evenly with remaining parmesan.

Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray and wrap lasagne. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil, increase heat to 400 and bake an additional 15 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.


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