This is Delia Smith's version of Lasagne. I'm used to the American version of lasagna that is smothered in red sauce, but in England it is more traditional to have a bechamel sauce. It takes a while, but it's worth it! Cooking time is mostly inactive.
- 1 lb lasagna noodle
- 14 ounces mozzarella cheese (diced)
- 4 ounces parmigiano-reggiano cheese
For the Ragu Bolognese
- 12 ounces ground beef
- 12 ounces ground pork
- 200 g pancetta
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves (chopped , I double this)
- 630 g italian chopped tomatoes
- 6 tablespoons tomato puree
- 6 fluid ounces red wine
- whole nutmeg
- fresh ground black pepper
- 15 g fresh basil
- 6 cups milk
- 6 ounces butter
- 4 ounces flour
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 6 fluid ounces heavy cream or 6 fluid ounces double cream
- In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onion and fry for about 10 minutes.
- While the onion is cooking, chop the pancetta. The best way to do this is to roll it up, cut lengthwise then across.
- Once onion is softened, add the pancetta and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Place the pancetta and onion in a 6 quart dutch oven, add another tablespoon of oil to the sauté pan and return to heat.
- Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Transfer to the dutch oven, add another tablespoon of oil to pan and return to heat.
- Add the ground pork and brown.
- Once pork has browned, add it to the dutch oven.
- Preheat oven to 275°F (140°C, Gas Mark 1).
- Place dutch oven on burner and stir ingredients together. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, red wine, salt, pepper, and about ¼ nutmeg, grated. Stir all ingredients together and bring to a simmer.
- While bringing mixture to a simmer, tear half of the basil leaves from the stem, tear or chop the leaves and add them to the pot. As soon as the mixture is simmering, place in preheated oven. You do not need to cover the mixture.
- Here the recipe says to let simmer for 3 hours before giving a stir, I stirred every 45 minutes.
- When liquid has reduced to a concentrated sauce, season to taste with salt and pepper and add the remainder of the basil.
- About 20-30 minutes before the ragú bolognese is due to come out of the oven, begin the bechamel sauce.
- Place the milk, butter, flour, salt and pepper, and garlic in a large saucepan. Heat oven medium-low heat and whisk until simmering and thickened. Reduce heat as low as possible and simmer for 10 minutes more.
- Sieve the sauce into a large bowl and add the cream. Adjust seasoning and add another quarter of nutmeg.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (Gas mark 4, 180°C).
- Now for the assembly. Organize your materials in the order in which you will use them, with the baking dish on a cookie sheet (to catch spillage) in the middle.
- Spread a thin layer of the ragú bolognese on the bottom of the pan. Cover with ¼ of the bechamel sauce, diced mozzarella and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Add a layer of lasagna noodles (They don't need to be cooked, the large amount of sauce cooks the noodles). Repeat in this manner, finishing off with a top layer of cream sauce and a coating of Parmesan cheese.
- Place in oven (be sure to keep the baking sheet underneath!) and bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.
This turned out very well. Mine came out a little gloopy, but that is due to the fact that DH insisted I add ricotta cheese. Also, I covered it in the oven, which turned out to be a bit of a mistake. However, I let it sit a few minutes and everything was fine and delicious! Made for ZWT 6.