Cooking Italy~Lasagne Bolognese…sort of…

14 02 2010

As usual, I’ve gotten way out of sync over at Cooking Italy. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking…I cook a lot.  I just don’t always get the photos downloaded and the post done in a timely manner…nor do I always do the recipes in the order they’re presented!  *giggle*   If I just happen to have everything, then we’ll probably go that way instead, and catch this when I can.  And that brings us to how we’re talking about Lasagna Bolognese in February rather than December or January.

After all was said and done with the Bolognese sauce, I got sick. A raging, don’t-lift-your-head-up sinus infection. I did good to get the bolognese into the freezer. After buying spinach at least twice, I finally gave in and just made a casserole using “Lasagna Casserole” noodles. They look like miniature lasagna noodles. Worked for us! I layered the meat and bolognese with bechamel as though we were doing the real deal…and now I know why this is a beloved dish. I know I had too much sauce, but I had too much of everything so it all balanced out in the end.

Now…here’s the twist…This batch of sauce was from the older Marcella Hazan book, The Classic Italian Cookbook.  I loved everything about it…the texture, the creaminess, the rich flavor… It was heavenly. While this isn’t the lasagna I grew up with, it’s one I’d be happy to have again, and one I’d be happy to serve or share! Too bad there wasn’t any to share with Dr. Tony! LOL!

Tasting Notes:
There’s something about the addition of the bechamel sauce that mellows the entire dish into a soothing culinary caress. Maybe it’s because there’s considerable milk in the meat sauce…  Maybe the bechamel mellows the tomato to a lighter gravy?  Perhaps the bechamel is a magic elixer that carries the sauce to the pasta…  I don’t know, but what occurs is magical.   There’s an incredibly lightness to this dish, which seems as though it should be substantially heavy.  No wonder the uninitiated ask for second helpings!



3 responses

15 02 2010

The photo just makes it all leap off the page in goodness! Need to try this exactly as you did it. Beautiful job, as usual!

14 02 2010
Sue Busch

I am new to the Cooking Italy group and haven’t got to this recipe yet, but I am really looking forward to trying it. Interestingly, the lasagne I normally make is something I’ve just kind of made up myself, but I have always put bechamel sauce in the layers. Not sure where I ever got that idea from, but I agree it really works.

14 02 2010

The Hazan Bolognese you mention was my go-to Bolognese for years. I’m sure the dish tasted wonderful. I agree about the bechamel–not something you’d ever have found in mom’s kitchen, but I much prefer it to ricotta-filled lasagna.

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