Naomi’s Lasagna

This is a traditional Italian Lasagna recipe. It’s the classic kind with a bolognese sauce and béchamel. No ricotta or other weird ingredients mixed in. No attempts at being healthy. All good fats, I guarantee. 🙂 Seriously, the flavors are really great deep and rich. Full credit for this goes our friend Naomi Newman.

Meat Bolognese Sauce (Ragu Sauce)
For 1 lb. pasta (serves 6)
3 Tbsp. Olive oil
5 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. Carrot, finely diced
2 Tbsp. Celery, finely diced
¾ lb. Lean beef, ground
Salt
1 cup Dry white wine
½ cup Whole milk
1/8 tsp. Nutmeg, grated
2 cups Canned tomatoes, chopped
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

  1. Put the olive oil, 3 Tbsp of the butter and all the onion in a heavy, deep saucepan over a medium-high heat and sauté until the onion has turned a light golden color.
  2. Add the carrot and celery and continue sautéing  until they begin to change color.
  3. Add the beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add some salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is just browned.
  4. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until it has completely evaporated. Add the milk and the nutmeg and continue to cook, stirring, until most of the milk has evaporated.
  5. Add the tomatoes, stir, and once they start to bubble, turn the heat down to very low. Simmer uncovered for at least 3 hrs, stirring occasionally.

Béchamel
2 cups Whole milk
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) Butter
4 level Tbsp AP flour
Salt and black or white pepper, freshly ground

  1. Heat the milk until it just begins to bubble. Remove from the heat.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the flour, mixing with a wire whisk until it is smooth. Let the mixture cook for 1 – 2 minutes, stirring constantly, and being careful not to let it brown.
  3. Begin adding the hot milk, a few Tbsp. at a time, whisking the mixture smooth before adding more. When the consistency becomes thinner you can begin adding milk more rapidly. Continue until all the milk has been mixed in.
  4. Cook over a medium-low heat, stirring constantly with the whisk, until the sauce begins to thicken. The sauce is done when it coats the whisk thickly. Season with salt and black or white pepper before removing from the heat. Béchamel sauce is best when used the same day but it keeps overnight in the refrigerator if necessary.

Lasagne with Meat Bolognese Sauce
Ragu sauce, made in advance
Béchamel sauce
2/3 cup Parmigiano-reggiano cheese, freshly grated
2 Tbsp. Butter
Salt

  1. Place the ragu in a mixing bowl.
  2. Make the béchamel sauce according to the recipe

To assemble and bake

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F (unless assembling the dish in advance to cook later).
  2. Smear the bottom a baking dish with some of the béchamel sauce and cover with a layer of pasta strips. For each subsequent layer put down a coat of béchamel, then meat sauce, then cover with pasta strips.
  3. Continue layering the pasta and the béchamel and meat sauce until there are at least 5 layers. Save enough sauce to thinly cover the top layer of pasta. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top and dot with the butter.
  4. Place on the upper rack of the oven. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes or until a light golden crust forms on top. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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