I wanted to make something a little more special for dinner, so I made a basic bolognese with veggies, ground pork, ground beef, prosciutto and pancetta. As for the noodles, I recently found roasted red pepper lasagna noodles, and thought it would add a little oumph! The next part is where I added the “fancyness” as John jokingly says.
Dinner was spectacular…3 layers, starting with a little meat sauce, then lasagna noodles, meat, bechamel and Parmesan cheese, repeat!Also, choose a good bottle of wine because I recommend you drink what you use in the recipe.
Red Pepper Lasagna with Bolognese and Bechamel – 6 servings
1 package of Rossi Pasta Roasted Red Bell Pepper Lasagna
2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
4 oz pancetta, diced
12 oz ground beef
12 oz ground pork
4 oz prosciutto, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
12 oz low sodium beef stock
6 oz dry red wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
5 cups whole milk
3/4 cup water
Make sure to have your ingredients ready by having everything chopped as directed and set aside.
Melt 5 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrot, onion, celery stalk and pancetta. Sauté 10-12 min, or until softened and lightly browned. Add ground beef, ground pork, and prosciutto. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, pork and beef should be fully cooked, stir in tomato paste and mix well.
Add beef stock and red wine, bring to simmer. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally for about 1 hour. All the liquid will be cooked off. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
While the bolognese is simmering make the bechamel.
In a medium saucepan, melt ½ cup butter. When bubbling, sprinkle in 1 cup flour. I suggest placing a mesh strainer over the pan and sprinkling in the flour that way.
Turn to low, stir until thick, bubbling, and slightly golden. Add 1 cup of milk add a time whisking until thickened, continue to repeat until all 5 cups are used. Bechamel should be smooth and thick. If you have lumps, which is unfortunate, you can strain the thickened bechamel into a clean pot.
Turn off the heat, season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Assembling the Lasagna:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Spread a 9 x 13 x 2 inch – pan with a thin layer of bolognese. Add 3 lasagna noodles, slightly overlapping. Add another layer of bolognese, béchamel and a handful of parmigiano. Continue until you have 3 layers. Your top layer will be bolognese, bechamel, and parmigiana.
Pour ¾ cup water into one corner of the pan and tightly seal with foil.
Bake for 40 minutes covered, remove the foil, and bake for another 10 minutes to brown the top of the lasagna.
Remove the lasagna from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy with a glass of wine and yummy bread and butter.
Side note: You will notice these lasagna noodles were not cooked, which explains the reason for adding 3/4 cup of water to the pan and baking. I actually prefer these noodles for a no fuss lasagna, so you might want to try and find some that you don’t need to boil before hand.