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Rachael's White Bolognese Lasagna

Rachael's White Bolognese Lasagna


For the bolognese

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1/4 pound pancetta, finely chopped

  • 1 carrot, finely chopped

  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 3/4 pound ground veal

  • 3/4 pound ground beef

  • 3/4 pound ground pork

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed or pollen

  • 2 tablespoons sage, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped

  • 1 large fresh bay leaf

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 cup white wine

  • 3 cups chicken stock

  • 1 cup half-and-half

  • A rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano

For the bechamel sauce

  • 4 cups milk

  • 5 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

  • 1/4 cup flour

  • Salt and white pepper, to taste

  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste, about 1/8 teaspoon

For the ricotta filling

  • 1 pound fresh ricotta, drained

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest

  • 2 tablespoons fruity, green extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

To assemble

  • 1 box flat lasagna sheets

  • 2 cups grated Fontina cheese, such as Fontina Val d’Aosta or Mozzarella cheese

  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


For the bolognese, heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat with EVOO, add pancetta and render 2-3 minutes, add carrot, celery and onion and stir 5 minutes to soften, add meats and crumble, lightly brown, add garlic, fennel, sage, rosemary, bay, salt and pepper, add wine and let it absorb, add stock, cream and parm rind, and simmer on low for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400˚F with rack at center.

For the bechamel sauce, warm milk in small pot.

In a saucepot or pan, melt butter over medium heat, whisk in flour when the butter foams to combine, then whisk in warm milk, season sauce with salt, white pepper and nutmeg.

For the ricotta filling, combine ricotta with Parm, egg, thyme, lemon zest and EVOO.

Assemble lasagna: half the béchamel, pasta sheets, half the meat sauce, pasta sheets, all of the ricotta, pasta sheets, remainder of the meat sauce, pasta sheets, remainder of the white sauce, fontina or mozzarella, and parm.

Cover the lasagna with foil, bake 30 minutes, uncover and bake 20-25 minutes more to brown and bubbly. Let the lasagna rest 10-20 minutes, then cut and serve.