One of my all time favorite foods is my great grandma's lasagna bolognese recipe. Besides being delicious I love this recipe because of it's family history and the fact that it is such a labor of love to make. Now it's not incredibly complicated but it does take time and patience to make, but at first bite you'll understand why it's worth it. This is authentic lasagna that fed Sicilian ranchers, mafia (my great great uncle is Joseph Ardizzone), and movie stars. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I do.
F.Y.I. You won't find Ricotta in this recipe, but that's for the better. Trust me.
-1 lb lasagna noodles
-1 lb Mozzarella cheese, grated
-1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
-1 c. chopped onion -1 clove garlic minced -1/2 c. chopped celery -2 Tbs butter
-1 lb mild Italian sausage -1 lb ground beef -2 Tbs olive oil -1/2 c. dry white wine
-2 c. chopped tomatoes, peeled/seeded -3 Tbs tomato paste -2 c. beef stock -1 bay leaf
-1/2 tsp sugar -1/2 tsp dried oregano -1/8 tsp allspice -salt and pepper to taste
-3 Tbs butter -6 Tbs flour -2 c. milk -1 c. heavy cream -1 tsp salt -dash nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13" baking dish. Cook lasagna according to package. Drain and cover with cold water. Then lift out strips and let dry on paper towels.
Meat Sauce- Combine onion, garlic, and celery. Saute over low heat in 2 Tbs butter until golden, 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove to a heavy 3-4 quart saucepan. In same fry pan saute sausage and beef in olive oil until lightly browned. Stir to break up lumps. Remove excess grease. Add wine to meat. Boil, stirring constantly, until almost evaporated. Add meat to saucepan and add tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, and seasonings. Simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour stirring occasionally.
Besciamella- Melt 3 Tbs butter in heavy 2-3 quart saucepan, over low heat. Stir in flour and cook slowly 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in milk and cream slowly, stirring with a whisk to obtain a smooth sauce. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and add 1 tsp salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
Assemble- Spread 1/3 of meat sauce onto bottom of baking dish. Cover with 1/3 of noodles. Make sure noodle edges overlap. Spread 1/3 of besciamella over noodles, making sure to cover noodles. Top with 1/3 of mozzarella. Repeat 2 more times. Sprinkle grated Parmesan on top and bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately or cool and freeze for a later day.