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Aug 15, 2021

Lasagna Bolognese

This lasagna Bolognese goes all in with super meaty ragú and a Parmesan besciamella sauce that captures the flavors of northern Italy. 

Lasagna Bolognese plates


This lasagna is different, in that there is no mozzarella, and the sauce, or ragú, as it is known in Bologna, is so meaty. Typically, the sauce is served with tagliatelle. When I first made it, I served it with linguini because I couldn't find the tagliatelle. 

Instead of the cheeses that we normally associate with lasagna, this dish instead incorporates an amazing besciamella made with Parmesan cheese. It's the Italian version of bechamel. 

Imagine, lasagna noodles layered only with bechamel and meat sauce. It was amazing. 

Lasagna Bolognese in a baking pan.

This lasagna is so different from what you'd expect. First, the sauce is loaded with home ground pork shoulder, beef short ribs, and pancetta. All three meats add so much deep flavor without being over powering. The sauce is so meaty. 

Second, the only other ingredient you will need is a besciamella sauce, which is a mixture of half and half, Parmesan, a roux of butter and flour, and basil. The sauce can be made up to two days in advance. Just re-warm it before assembling the lasagna. 

Lasagna Bolognese bite

For the noodles in this recipe, I used Barilla oven ready lasagna noodles. Just soak them for about 10 minutes in oiled and salted warm water before assembling this lasagna. 

You can make the ragú and the besciamella in advance of assembling and baking this lasagna. Just be sure to reheat the sauces before assembling everything. 

If you like your sauces meaty, be sure to Sunday gravy too. 

How to assemble this lasagna bolognese:

First, layer some of the ragú on the bottom of a baking dish and then place a layer of noodles on top.

Add more sauce, besciamella, and noodles. and repeat three more times. 

Finally, bake the lasagna for 45 minutes to an hour, covered with foil, until everything is bubbly. 

Lasagna Bolognese on a plate

This lasagna is so delicious, and so unexpected! Take a virtual trip to Bologna, a city in northern Italy, and enjoy this amazing lasagna recipe. 

Be sure to grab the recipe for the sauce in my post about Ragú Bolognese

Sunday Funday logo

Sunday Funday: Roman or Italian Recipes

(as a Tribute to Augustus Caesar, namesake of August)

Lasagna Bolognese slices

I first discovered this recipe watching Milk Street TV. Christopher Kimball visited Bologna to find out about the food of the region. 

For the Ragú, use the recipe from the Ragú Bolognese post. 

Lasagna Bolognese

Lasagna Bolognese
Yield: 10 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
This lasagna Bolognese goes all in with super meaty ragú and a Parmesan besciamella sauce that captures the flavors of northern Italy.


Parmesan Besciamella
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) salted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 quart half and half
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 large basil leaves
For the Lasagna
  • 12 No Boil Lasagna noodles
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 cups Ragú Bolognese, warmed (see post for Ragú Bolognese)
  • 3 cups, Parmesan Besciamella
  • Finely grated Parmesan cheese for topping


To Make the Besciamella
  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Whisk in the flour, then cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes.
  2. Slowly pour in the half-and-half while constantly whisking and bring the pan to a simmer. Add the bay leaves and pepper flakes, then reduce the heat to low. Cook, whisking often, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Off heat, whisk in the Parmesan and basil. Cool the mixture for 5 minutes.
  4. Place a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl, pour the sauce into the strainer and press on the solids until all of the liquid is in the bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To Assemble the Lasagna
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Soak the lasagna noodles in water with 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 teaspoon of salt for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. 
  2. Distribute 2 cups of the ragú in the bottom of a 9 inch by 13 inch baking dish. Place 3 noodles in a single layer on top. 
  3. Spread 1/4 cup of the besciamella on top of each noodle. Add 1 cup of the ragú on top and spread it evenly over the noodles and besciamella. 
  4. Repeat the layers, three more times. 
  5. Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until everything is bubbly. Let rest for 30 minutes. Slice and serve. 

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Main dish
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Would you like to comment?

  1. This sounds amazing is definitely going on my to make list for when the weather cools. Saved and printed.

    1. You will love it! It's so different from other lasagnas.

  2. This looks delicious! I don't think I've ever had an authentic Lasagna Bolognese. Apparently. Can't wait to try.

    1. Yes, every Italian region is so different!

  3. Delicious, I could finish that plate and have more.

  4. My mouth is watering - this sounds DIVINE!!

  5. Karen, next time I make lasagna, definitely going to use Parmesan Besciamella along with my veggie version of this yummy dish. Love lasagna.


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