Lasagne Bolognese – Authentic recipe

Bologna crestLasagne Bolognese. There isn’t one authentic recipe for lasagne Bolognese, but there are lots of things you can do to make an inauthentic one. One of my friends in Bari is still in shock from the time he was served a lasagne in Newcastle which included sweetcorn ­čÖé

Sweetcorn aside, the main difference between lasagne Bolognese served in Italy and those commonly served in other countries is that the Italians use far less cheese and usually have only about four layers of pasta.

This recipe uses fresh homemade pasta. I really recommend trying it with fresh lasagne, you’ll really notice the difference. The next best choice would be shop bought fresh lasagne, then dried egg lasagne which you need to precook and last, and definitly least, dried lasagne that needs no precooking.┬á Serves 4-6

    • Roll out the pasta into sheets. They need to be a little thicker than for tagliatelle. On my pasta machine I use the setting which is two up from the thinnest.
    • Cut the pasta into rectangles which are roughly 10cm by 8cm.
Lasagne sheets

Lasagne sheets

  1. Cook the lasagne, a few at a time, in plenty of salted boiling water. About 2-3 minutes. If you add a little oil to the water it helps to stop them sticking together.  Drain and lay them on a damp tea towel.
  2. Grease a lasagne dish with a little butter.
  3. Arrange a layer of lasagne on the bottom of the dish. Spread one third of the ragù on top, spoon on some white sauce and sprinkle with a little cheese. Dot with some of the butter.  Cover with a layer of lasagne.
  4. Repeat until you have used all of the rag├╣, finishing with a layer of lasagne. Cover with the rest of the white sauce.
  5. Bake in an oven preheated to 200┬░C for 30 minutes. Be careful not to let the top get too brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before dividing into portions.
Lasagne Bolognese

Lasagne Bolognese

Rag├╣ for baked pasta

Rag├╣ per pasta al forno. This is used for many dishes – lasagne, baked ziti etc. There are many recipes, but the proportion of meat to tomato is always similar. One of the most common mistakes people make is to add too much tomato. If you have time, the flavour improves if you make it the day before and leave it in the fridge overnight. Enough for 4-6 portions of pasta.

  • 300g minced beef
  • 75g carrot, finely chopped
  • 75g onion, finely chopped
  • 50g celery, finely chopped
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 250g passata
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion, carrot and celery. Fry gently for a few minutes until the onions start to go translucent.
  2. Add the meat and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook until it is well browned.
  3. Add the wine and continue cooking until it has almost completely evaporated.
  4. Add the passata, season with salt and cover.
  5. Cook very slowly for at least 2 hours. Add a little water if it starts to dry out.
  6. At the end of cooking, season with freshly ground black pepper.
Rag├╣ for baked pasta

Rag├╣ for baked pasta