Lasagna Bolognese

By Marge Perry & David Bonom

Creamy béchamel and a meaty tomato sauce make this the standard-setter for lasagnas.

  • Yield: 8 Servings
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Course: Dinner

All you need for this recipe and more...


  • 12 lasagna noodles


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs , finely chopped
  • 2 carrots , finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 12 ounces lean ground sirloin
  • 6 ounces ground pork
  • 6 ounces ground veal
  • 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles and cook according to package directions; drain. Rinse lasagna under cold water then drain again. Toss noodles with a little olive oil to prevent sticking. Lightly oil a large shallow baking sheet and lay out noodles.
  2. Heat the oil in a 5-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until just starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the onion, celery, carrots, garlic and basil; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Add the ground beef, pork and veal; cook, breaking into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, until meat just starts to brown, about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and cream. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until very thick and flavors have come together, 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
  3. For the béchamel, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, nutmeg and salt and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, whisking often, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and reserved 1/2 cup separately from the saucepan.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 13-inch by 9-inch baking pan.
  5. Spread 1/4 cup béchamel over the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with three noodles. Spread noodles with 1/3 of the Bolognese then 1/3 of the béchamel and 1/3 cup cheese. Repeat layering twice more. Top the lasagna with the three remaining noodles then spread with the reserved 1/2 cup béchamel sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup cheese. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.
  6. Bake lasagna 25 minutes then uncover and bake an additional 12-15 minutes until very hot and the top is lightly browned. Let stand at least 15 minutes before cutting.