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Homemade Lasagna Bolognese

chilerelleno

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Hi peeps,
long time since I posted a meal.
We're on a budget saving for a family vacation come Spring.
Two weeks trout fishing in Pennsylvania... Yes!

Decided we needed some Italian so I'm making an homemade lasagna today.
It's been far too long since I splurged and did it righteously, fixing that today, yes'siree.
The key to a great lasagna is a good Ragú, either Bolognese or Napoletana and that's where I'll be starting, with the more traditional Bolognese.
Mine won't be 100% authentic, my gaming buddies in Italy will scoff, but it'll be a danged good bastardization.
So grab a beverage, a comfortable chair and follow along as it takes me half the day to prepare everything in stages.

Ragú alla Bolognese
2lb ground Italian sausage
3lb ground beef
1/2lb pancetta or bacon
4 stalks celery, minced
4 small carrots, minced
2 medium red onions, minced
1 bell pepper, minced
2c white wine
2c heavy cream
2c whole milk
6c chicken stock
1-1/2c tomato paste
2 - 8oz cans tomato sauce
Salt to taste
2 large bay leaves
1/2t nutmeg

Brown the ground meats, drain well and set aside.
Fry the pancetta or bacon until it crusts up and releases it's fats.
Add the minced veggies to it and saute over med heat creating a thick soffritto.

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Add the ground meat back, add the wine and reduce till dry.
Break the meat down to a fine consistency during this process.
Once the wine is dry add in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, bay leaves, nutmeg and cook for about 10 minutes, while stirring well to mix into the meat.

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Add the chicken stock and cream/milk.
Cook over very low heat, simmer should just be barely be bubbling, stir occasionally, cook 2-3 hours till super tender.
I skimmed off approx 6c of liquid off the sauce to use on the bottom and top of the lasagna.

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Cheese, never met a Lasagna without it, no exception made here.
I'll be using a mix of Ricotta and Parmesan with chopped Basil for layers, and topping it with Parmesan and sliced Mozzarella.

Ricotta Blend
5x 32oz (2lb) tubs of Ricotta
10 eggs
5c shredded Parmesan cheese, you can use your favorite Parmesan, Romano or Mozzarella
2c finely chopped basil
2t granulated garlic
Black pepper to taste

That's a 13 qt mixing bowl, so it's about 7-8 qts of Ricotta filling!

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I'm gonna cut a corner a forego making fresh pasta noodles.
But I will at least prep some dried pasta
To avoid an overly wet lasagna I soak the noodles in hot water from the tap till pliable and drain well.
Then I layer them on parchment paper and spray lightly with EVOO to keep from sticking.

Okeydokey, here we go.
A couple cups of the ragú sauce in the bottom of the pan, then noodles topped with a generous layer of Ricotta and
again with the pasta noodles.

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Another generous layer, the Bolognese this time, more noodles.
And that's the way it goes, layer on layer, three layers of Ricotta cheese and two layers of Bolognese.
The Bolognese is easy to ladle in and spread, but the Ricotta goes into a 2.5gal Ziploc and gets piped in and then spread even with a spatula.

Next time I want to do three layers of Bolognese and two of Ricotta, which means increasing that recipe, yikes!

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Once we're done we top with another couple cups of sauce, a generous amount of Parmesan and Mozzarella for maximum gooey goodness.

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Tightly cover the pan with foil and into a preheated 400° oven for 2 hours.
Yes, you read that right, 400° for 2 hours, this thing is freaking huge.
Remove the foil and give the cheese some color with the broiler.
Let the lasagna cool a good bit before cutting, makes for a cleaner cut and thus presentation.

This is what, a five (5) layer lasagna?
It's HUGE and HEAVY, and easy 20 pounder!
I used an 'Extra Deep' full size steam table pan and filled it up, and it still almost overflowed during cooking.
This thing could generously feed 20 or more people if served with sides.
My 7 family members will work on this tonight and tomorrow, probably leaving me having to hide leftovers for lunch on Monday.

Money Shot!

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Last edited:

jcam222

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Man that looks awesome. Bookmarked to try the sauce. Is the Ragu some of the liquid you remove from the overall mixture and the bolgonese the meat sauce that’s left? Fishing trip sounds awesome. Steelhead trout?
 

chilerelleno

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Man that looks awesome. Bookmarked to try the sauce. Is the Ragu some of the liquid you remove from the overall mixture and the bolgonese the meat sauce that’s left? Fishing trip sounds awesome. Steelhead trout?
Thanks man.

Ragú alla Bolognese is the proper name.
Otherwise simply referred to as Ragú or Bolognese.

Will be in Bushkill, PA on Bushkill Creek fishing for Rainbow, Brook, Brown and Golden.
 

Brokenhandle

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That looks delicious and amazing! Love that golden brown cheese on the top! Kinda makes our 8 1/2 lb lasagna we made the other day look kinda small!

Ryan
 

jcam222

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Thanks man.

Ragú alla Bolognese is the proper name.
Otherwise simply referred to as Ragú or Bolognese.

Will be in Bushkill, PA on Bushkill Creek fishing for Rainbow, Brook, Brown and Golden.
Thanks for linking that Chile! I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your journal for that trip. It’s been far too long since I’ve had some fishing time. Combine that with the ongoing quarantine working at home etc and it was sublime to read. I could darn near smell the smells of being at the river. How far is it from Lancaster? Is there plenty of tubing, camping etc nearby? I’m interested in checking it out perhaps but wife would need alternate activities.
 

chilerelleno

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That looks delicious and amazing! Love that golden brown cheese on the top! Kinda makes our 8 1/2 lb lasagna we made the other day look kinda small!

Ryan
Thanks Ryan, yeah thing was a beast, easy 20 pounder.
 

chilerelleno

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Thanks for linking that Chile! I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your journal for that trip. It’s been far too long since I’ve had some fishing time. Combine that with the ongoing quarantine working at home etc and it was sublime to read. I could darn near smell the smells of being at the river. How far is it from Lancaster? Is there plenty of tubing, camping etc nearby? I’m interested in checking it out perhaps but wife would need alternate activities.
Probably about 2 hrs to Lancaster.
Don't know about camping, but lots of tubing to be had.
 

indaswamp

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Damn fine rendition Chile....I'd eat it no complaints. Nicely done.
 

ksblazer

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Good to see you posting recipes and pictures of your cooks.

Always enjoy them.

Everything you make I want to try 👍
 

jcam222

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Probably about 2 hrs to Lancaster.
Don't know about camping, but lots of tubing to be had.
I see some nice cabins and homes on the creek for rent. I’m intrigued for sure.
 

chilerelleno

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I see some nice cabins and homes on the creek for rent. I’m intrigued for sure.
We stay at my wife's sister's cabin which is right on the creek, we have carte blanche access to all the creek for 3/4 mile along the private road.
It Is Very Nice! Scenery, Wildlife, Silence Except for the Rushing Water, Excellent Fishing and Not Too Far from Lots of Other Things to Do.

This was 2017's trip.
 

bigfurmn

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Chile... That looks beyond amazing! Am going to try it, some day when I have the time. Lasagna is my favorite meal ever. Thank you for showing us all this recipe!
 

chef jimmyj

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Is that a Standard Roasting Pan? I'm getting 10 pounds of sauce and 10 pounds of cheese! The Pasta looks longer than average. Thats A LOT of product in regular size roasting pan.
Looks great, gettin' ingredients together for a pan next week....JJ
 

chilerelleno

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Is that a Standard Roasting Pan? I'm getting 10 pounds of sauce and 10 pounds of cheese! The Pasta looks longer than average. Thats A LOT of product in regular size roasting pan.
Looks great, gettin' ingredients together for a pan next week....JJ
No way JJ, it'd never have fit in a regular pan.
It all just fit into an 'Extra Deep' pan and still almost over flowed when cooked.
You can see it's sitting in a full size steam table pan for added support.

YlEgubSh.jpg
 

Steve H

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Darn fine dish! And I don't think any Italians would scoff at this.
 

BrianGSDTexoma

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That looks fantastic! I been missing your post. I am retiring next week and will be on a budget for the first time in my life. I plan using some of the time going through your recipes!
 

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