Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Karen's Lasagna Bolognese #FoodieExtravaganza

This meaty, rich, and savory lasagna has very little cheese as compared to my other versions but tastes as if it is as cheese laden as any I have made.  

Lasagna Bolognese

It is National Pasta Month.......

Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla invited the Foodie Extravaganza Gang to join her in celebrating pasta this month.  I think every month should be pasta month, don't you?  Let's see what everyone brought to the table today.....

A couple of months ago the Sunday Funday Bloggers were celebrating Augustus Caeasar and my friend, Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories, shared a recipe for Lasagna Bolognese.  This recipe sounded so delicious that I immediately printed it and set it in my recipes to be made pile that sits next to my computer.  

When Cam announced National Pasta Month, I knew that I wanted to make this lasagna.  I adapted the recipe to use my bolognese ragu but I kept Karen's Besciamella sauce.  It smelled amazing as it was baking.  

Lasagna with Wine

This is a time consuming dish because the ragu is best when it simmers low and slow for a long while.  I made my ragu the day prior to assembling this lasagna, it was a rainy, crummy day out...perfect for a slow simmered sauce.  The following day I gave it a quick warmup so that it would be easier to work with.

lasagna plate with wne

The besciamella sauce is quick to come together and using oven ready lasagna noodles makes assembly quick and easy. Karen soaks her noodles in hot water for 10 minutes.  I don't and they are always tender and perfectly cooked.  You can use whatever method you prefer or use pasta that needs to be cooked prior to assembly.

The lasagna takes about an hour to bake before it is heated through and bubbly around the edges.  When it is done baking you want to let it set for a few minutes before cutting and serving.  I had bought a loaf of bread studded with roasted garlic.  I sliced this and threw together a chopped Caesar salad while the lasagna set.

I have never made a lasagna that did not contain Mozzarella and Ricotta cheese along with the Parmesan and I was a little worried that my family was going to balk.  I needn't have been concerned. They LOVED this lasagna.  The Teen proclaimed to her friend who had joined us for dinner that I make the best lasagna in the world.  Thanks Karen.....

Entrees, Casseroles, Pasta, Beef, Pork
Entrees, Pasta
Yield: 9 servings
Author: Wendy Klik
Karen's Lasagna Bolognese

Karen's Lasagna Bolognese

This meaty, rich, and savory lasagna has very little cheese as compared to my other versions but tastes as if it is as cheese laden as any I have made.
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 5 HourTotal time: 5 H & 30 M


Ragu Bolognese
  • 1 onion, cut into chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 carrot, scraped and cut into chunks
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into chunks
  • 1 qt. tomatoes, packed in juices
  • 2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes in puree
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 5 links Italian Sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 c. light cream
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 qt. light cream (half and half)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 oz. finely grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 stem basil
  • 12 oven ready lasagna sheets
  • Ragu Bolognese
  • Besciamella Sauce
  • Extra Parmesan Cheese for sprinkling 


To prepare Ragu
  1. Place the onion, garlic, carrots and celery into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Place the ground beef and the Italian Sausage meat into a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the vegetables from the food processor and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned and crumbly.  Drain if necessary and return to the dutch oven.
  4. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil.  Cook, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. 
  5. In the same food processor bowl, add the quart of tomatoes with juices and pulse until smooth.  Transfer to the Dutch oven along with the cans of diced tomatoes in puree.  Add the bay leaves and crushed red pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in the milk.  Cover, partially, and simmer for 3-4 hrs, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced.  Off heat, stir in the light cream.  
To prepare Besciamella
  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over med high heat.  Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes.  Slowly whisk in the cream and bring mixture to a simmer. 
  2. Add the bay leaves, basil and crushed red pepper, cook on low heat, stirring often, until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Remove the bay leaves and basil.
  3. Off heat, whisk in the cheese.  
Assembling the Lasagna
  1. Place 2 cups of the Ragu on the bottom of a 9x13" baking pan.  Lay 3 noodles on top of the Ragu, they will not be touching.  
  2. Place 1/3 of the remaining Ragu on top of the noodles, dollop with 1/3 of the Besciamella and gently spread over the noodles. Repeat this twice more until all the noodles and sauces are used.  Sprinkle with a little more Parmesan cheese, if desired.
  3. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 350* oven for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake for another 15-20 minutes until hot and bubbly.  Let rest, lightly covered with foil, for 15 minutes before cutting into 9 servings.


Adapted from a recipe found at Karen's Kitchen Stories

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