Sharing is caring!

I make lasagna once, maybe twice a year. It’s not a particularly difficult undertaking, but it does take up a fair amount of time with all the sauce simmering and pasta rolling. Which is why I typically only do it for significant occasions, in this case, a birthday dinner.

I bought a, what do you call it, crinkle edged (?) pastry wheel the other day specifically for making pasta and pies and I haven’t made a point of using it, so even though all of the fluted edges of the lasagna noodles are completely hidden underneath all the sauce, at least I knew they were there.

This isn’t technically a traditional Bolognese sauce because it’s missing celery and pancetta and is spiced up a bit, but the hallmarks of such a sauce, the minimal tomato, the milk to tenderize the meat, is there. I prefer this kind of sauce for lasagna because there’s no assertive tomato flavor that covers up the bechamel, ricotta or spinach, which are just as important to me.

Lasagna is always better the next day, when things have had a chance to settle and meld and everything slices more uniformly into neat little squares, freshly cut from the refrigerator… which is why I’m glad that we pilfered all the leftovers.


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground veal
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 glass (4 ounces) dry white wine
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled
  • salt and sugar to taste

Filling :

  • 300g frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 500ml whole milk ricotta
  • Pasta
  • 3 cups (or so) all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk, warmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt to taste

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Brown the ground veal and beef in batches and set aside, draining and discarding the fat after each batch.

Add the olive oil, minced onion, chili flakes, nutmeg, rosemary and bay leaves to the pot with a pinch of salt. Cook until the onion is softened, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.

Add the wine and stir any residual bits from the bottom of the pot, then reduce until nearly evaporated. Stir in the tomato paste, milk and stock, then return the meat to the pot with the whole carrot.

Cover the pot and simmer the sauce for several hours, then discard the carrot, bay leaves, and rosemary sprig. Season to taste with salt and a pinch of sugar if the tomato is particularly acidic. Allow cooling before assembling the lasagna.

Meanwhile, combine the spinach and ricotta in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to assemble the lasagna.

To make the fresh pasta, place the flour in a bowl and make a well in the center. Crack the eggs into the center and whisk with a fork to break apart. Incorporate the flour with the fork until you have a messy, but manageable mass of dough, then lightly flour a countertop and knead for several minutes until smooth and elastic. Wrap tightly and set aside to rest.

To make the bechamel, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it has melted and the bubbles subside, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until it becomes a smooth, pale yellow paste. Gradually whisk in the milk a cup at a time until the sauce is smooth. Cook for several minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching, then add the nutmeg, Parmesan and season to taste with salt.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

To assemble the lasagna, first, start by rolling out the pasta sheets. Divide the dough into four equal portions, take one and wrap the others. Lightly flour the pasta machine and pass the dough through it. Fold the dough in half and pass it through a few more times until it has a cohesive shape and texture. Continue to pass the dough through the machine in incrementally lower settings until about 1/16″ thick. Repeat with the remaining dough, then trim the sheets to fit a 9×13″ lasagna pan.

Place a little bit of the sauce in the bottom of the lasagna pan to start, then alternate layers of sauce and pasta, with the spinach and ricotta filling in the middle. Finish with pasta on the top and cover with the bechamel, straining if you wish.

Place a layer of parchment paper directly against the bechamel, then wrap tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 35-40 minutes, then remove the foil and parchment paper and bake until the bechamel is a deep and bubbly golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to rest and cool for at least 20 minutes to make slicing cleaner and easier.

Food Riddles Challenge
How to Brine a Turkey
Ingenious Kool Aid Hacks
No Fridge necessities
Things You Should Never Put In The Microwave
Women stylish haircut

Sharing is caring!

Scroll to Top