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Bolognese Lasagna
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Bolognese Lasagna

This is from Christine Cushing on Food TV Canada.  This looked so yummy but was also lower in fat than most lasagnes I've seen - very low amount of cheese but you don't miss it!  The recipe includes making your own pasta but I just used oven ready lasagne noodles which only allowed for 3 layers.  I have included my comments on what I did differently and ideas on how to lower the fat/calories in brackets.  My family considers this the best lasagne they've ever had.  Tastes wonderful and is now my go to lasagne recipe.

Ingredients:

Pasta

    * 1 3/4 cups flour
    * pinch salt
    * 3 eggs

Bolognese Sauce

    * 3 tbsp olive oil
    * 2 onions, finely chopped
    * 1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef (I used 1 lb.)
    * 1 small Italian spicy sausage, casing removed (if you wanted to eliminate this you could use the 1 1/2 lbs. of ground beef and add a tsp. or so of crushed red pepper.)
    * 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    * 2 small carrots, finely diced
    * Several sprigs fresh thyme
    * 2 bay leaves
    * 2 tsp dried oregano
    * 1 x 28 oz can plum tomatoes with juice, chopped
    * coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
    * 1 bunch fresh basil, washed, stemmed, and chopped

Bechamel Sauce

    * 1/3 cup butter
    * 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. flour
    * 4 cups milk (1%)
    * pinch freshly grated nutmeg
    * coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
    * 2 tbsp Pecorino Romano cheese (I used all fresh parmesan)
    * 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Assembly

    * oil, for baking dish (I used Pam)
    * 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
    * coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper


Directions:
Pasta

   1. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment add flour and salt to the mixing bowl.
   2. With mixer on low speed, add 1 egg at a time until incorporated.
   3. Continue to mix for 3 to 4 minutes until the dough starts to come together.
   4. Remove dough from mixer and knead to form a ball.
   5. Cover and let rest for 1 hour
   6. Roll out pasta.
   7. Cut dough into 12 pieces.
   8. Roll dough into thick sheets on the pasta machine, starting at the thickest setting, reducing pasta setting one mark each time you roll the dough through.
   9. Cook pasta in boiling salted water for about 4 minutes or until just al dente.
  10. Transfer to bowl with cold water to prevent sticking.
  11. Drain on towel.

Bolognese Sauce

   1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium.
   2. Add the onion and saute 3 to 4 minutes or until soft.
   3. Add the beef and Italian sausage and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until browned.
   4. Add the garlic and carrots and saute for 3 minutes just to soften.
   5. Add the thyme sprigs, bay leaves, oregano, tomatoes and salt and pepper and bring to boil.
   6. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 55 to 60 minutes or until sauce is thickened and flavour has developed to your liking.
   7. Add the fresh basil and adjust seasoning.

Bechamel Sauce

   1. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt butter.
   2. Add the flour and stir with wooden spoon until a paste forms.
   3. Remove from heat and add the cold milk a little at a time while stirring well between each addition.
   4. Return to heat once all the milk is added and mixture is smooth.
   5. Continue stirring over medium heat until sauce comes to a boil and thickens, about 5 minutes.
   6. Add a pinch of nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste.
   7. Add the Pecorino and Parmesan cheese and stir.

Assembly

   1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
   2. Oil the bottom of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish.
   3. Reserve a quarter of the bechamel sauce for the top layer.
   4. Layer lasagna as desired starting with pasta and alternating bolognese sauce, grated cheese and bechamel.
   5. Season well between each layer.
   6. Finish with a layer pasta, the reserved bechamel sauce and extra cheese on the top layer to finish (you should have 6 layers of lasagna).
   7. Bake lasagna in middle of oven for about 35 to 40 minutes or until golden. (if using oven ready noodles you might end up cooking about 10 minutes longer).
Related Discussions
5 Comments Post a Comment
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144586_tn?1284669764

My two cents worth is this. My mom always taught me to cook the onions, garlic, chopped meat and sausage separately. The cook at different rates. Garlic, in particuliar, becomes extremely bitter when over-cooked.

(1) First cook the onions until translucent. Add a pinch of salt and teaspoon full of water to the frying pan and as the water sizzles out they should be done. Just before they are done add the sliced garlic. It cooks quickly and if overcooked becomes bitter. Scoop out with a flat panel instrument and reserve.

(2) Lean beef does not sautee well. The cuts with fat make a much better meal. And they are cheaper. Don't add the beef all at one time. If it is frozen, warm to room temperature in a microwave. Add a handfull at a time, and constantly move with a flat wooden spatula. Add a punch of salt to each batch. When meat is browned (I brown in butter and extra-virgin olive oil). Put on absorbant paper toweling to soak up the excess fat and oil.

(3) The sausage is always done separately. It browns at a different rate. I like to microwave it a bit before putting in the iron frying pan.

(4) Bring your tomatoes and spices to a boil, then lower to low simmer. Now add the meat, onions, garlic and sausage. Instead of carrots I add a splash of fresh-squeezed carrot juice.

I also never use PAM.

Outside of that, it seems like a great recipe.
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483733_tn?1326802046
I get what you're saying and if the sausage in this was raw it would be an issue.  The sausage here is the pre-cooked spicy sausage you would slice up for platters, etc.  Because the garlic is not browning I didn't find any issues with it.  

I also added some cut up thawed frozen spinach to each layer.
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Avatar_f_tn
This sounds really good, Trudie!

I love spinach in lasagna, although I've never had Bechamel sauce. I will be giving this a try.
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874521_tn?1375890587
thanks for all the tips everyone. Trudie, I've never had a Bechamel sauce either...what nationality is this anyway?
I'm a little skeptical about using milk in a lasagna recipe, this sure is new to me..my family is sooooo traditional with food.
does sound very interesting tho.♥
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483733_tn?1326802046
Bechamel is one of the base sauces in all cooking.  A lot of the sauces originated in France.  I believe I've seen Giada use it in hers.
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