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Classic Beef Lasagna
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Lay cooked lasagna on base of dish to cover completely.
Cover the lasagna with a layer of Bolognese sauce.
Add another layer of lasagna and cover with about half the ricotta mixture.
Press down on the lasagna to even it out in the pan.
Sprinkle top with mozzarella and grated Parmesan.

Classic Beef Lasagna

Serves 8

This is an absolute classic, an all-time favorite comfort food. Although I prefer fresh homemade pasta, nowadays you can find good quality store-bought pasta sheets. These are layered with a rich beef bolognese sauce and a creamy ricotta filling, topped off with mozzarella cheese, melted and browned for a robust and heartwarming dish.

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Pasta:

  • 1 16-ounce package lasagne noodles or 1 pound fresh pasta sheets

Topping:

  • 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly chopped parsley
Method
  1. Prepare recipe for Wolfgang's Hearty Beef Bolognese Sauce; set aside to cool.
  2. In large bowl combine ricotta cheese, mascarpone, grated Parmesan and egg. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  3. Meanwhile, if using dried, packaged lasagna noodles, cook according to package directions until al dente (firm to touch). Drain and plunge into a bowl of iced water to stop cooking. Remove noodles from water and lay on an oiled baking sheet, separating the layers of noodles with plastic wrap. If using fresh pasta sheets, cook only 2 or 3 sheets at a time and follow same directions as for dried noodles.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 375° F. With olive oil lightly brush a 13 x 9 x 2-1/2-inch ovenproof baking dish. Lay about 3 cooked lasagna noodles on base of dish to cover completely. Cover the noodles with a layer of Bolognese sauce (about 2 cups) then another layer of noodles. Cover with about half the ricotta mixture then repeat layering one more time. Top with a final layer of noodles then Bolognese sauce (about 2 cups) and sprinkle top with mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake lasagna for about 45 minutes or until heated through and browned and bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Presentation

Sprinkle generously with freshly chopped Italian parsley and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

Wine Recommendation:

Beef Lasagna calls for a big wine, a red with body and soul. For me this would be either a Rhone wine from Hermitage, Cote Rotie or Chateauneuf du Pape. Look for Guigal, J.L. Chave or Chapoutier.

Or if you want to stay with an Italian theme look for the great wines of Tuscany, the Chianti Classico Riservas. I love the wines of Ornellaia and Altesino Brunello di Montalcino.
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