It’s time to cozy up by the fire with wine and lasagna Bolognese!
If you want major comfort and flavor this December season, you’ve got to add this to your list. Lasagna bolognese is the quintessential winter meal that must happen in your life.
It’s no secret that every December, I get a craving for tomato-based recipes! This didn’t happen until the year I was pregnant with Max, and up until then, I really didn’t care for tomato sauce whatsoever – unless it was on pizza.
Then, I had a baby and everything changed.
I love having a great tomato sauce based recipe for the holiday season because it’s comforting and tastes SO good. This one is fantastic and can be a make ahead meal, a great one for a dinner party or something you can prep for a weeknight after work.
Warning: this is some MAJOR comfort food.
The other plus that comes along with this is that it’s perfect for pairing with my current red wine obsession. I haven’t been into red wine for years. I don’t know what it is, but this season I am loving it. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll always choose a Pinot Noir to keep it fairly mild, but I actually find myself craving that too.
Can you tell I’m very much a cravings person? I always have been. I never really had cravings during pregnancy, but regular life cravings? All the time, yes and yes.
Full disclosure: I ALWAYS make this using leftover Bolognese in The Pretty Dish. I die for the Bolognese. You guys love it too – it’s easily one of the most popular recipes in the book. I love it because I can make a super hearty, flavorful version and use ground pork or sausage. But I can also lighten it up and use ground turkey and chicken. I’ve made it so many different ways, keeping the base sauce consistent with the fire-roasted flavor that I love.
Since you can find that recipe in The Pretty Dish, I’m including a different version below. It works in a pinch!
My favorite noodles to use for this are the no-boil whole wheat lasagna sheets from DeLallo. This is already a high-maintenance recipe, so if I had to make fresh noodles or boil dry ones? I probably wouldn’t make the recipe. Using the no-boil sheets make it fairly easy, especially if you use leftover Bolognese!! If you do that, the only pot you have to dirty is the one for the béchamel sauce. Which, by the way, is so delish that you will want to drink it.
Seriously. It is RICH.
I like to make this in an 8×8 dish since it is very decadent. Serve it with a salad – do a Caesar or a house salad – and you only need to serve small pieces because it’s extremely satisfying. And if you want to add a fun cocktail, try this christmas punch!
Hello perfect meal.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 sweet onion diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms chopped
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1 14 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 9 ounce package no-boil whole wheat lasagna noodles
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
- Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add in the onions with the salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add in the garlic and mushrooms. Stir and cook for another 5 or 6 minutes, until the mushrooms soften. Add in the beef and break it apart with a wooden spoon. Brown it, stirring and breaking it apart, until it's cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, dried basil, oregano, pepper flakes and brown sugar. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add in the wine, tomatoes and parmesan. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for at least 30 minutes (or even longer if you wish!). You can make this ahead of time.
- To make your bechamel, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth to create a roux, then cook it for 3 to 4 minutes, until it's nutty and fragrant. Very slowly pour in the milk in small batches, whisking the entire time. Make sure to whisk the bottom to prevent sticking. Whisk in the nutmeg. Bring the mixture to a boil while whisking, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, whisking often, until thickened.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- To make the lasagna, spray an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick spray. Spread a spoonful of the bechamel in the bottom of the dish and layer with the lasagna noodles. Add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the bolognese, about 1/2 cup of the bechemal sauce and a handful of the cheeses. Repeat this for 4 or 5 layers (or more/less if you can fit!) until you reach the top. I like to finish with a layer of noodles and cover it with the remaining sauce and cheese alone.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Remove and let stand for about 30 minutes before you slice into it. DELISH.
- You can make this ahead of time, it freezes and reheats very well!
The layers though!