I’ve been on a bit of an Italian food spree. I know, kinda crazy considering I’m normally into Mexican food 363 days of the year. But my fiance and I have been talking honeymoons and it’s got me thinking about Italy! I’ve been to Italy before, but it wasn’t to eat my way through the country… let’s be honest here, it was in high school, and I was there to party. But now I’m feeling like it would be a great idea to go back, eat all the wonderful food from different parts of the country and do a little relaxing. So all this day dreaming had me craving some lasagna.
Now this isn’t just any lasagna. This is kinda one of the best lasagnas I’ve ever eaten in my life. And here is why…. 3 meats + bechamel sauce. It’s a little bit time consuming to make this, since the 3 meat ragu sauce takes about 2 hours to cook, but trust me when I tell you that it’s absolutely worth it! It’s perfect for a dinner party with good friends or a fun family meal!
- 1 package no-boil lasagna sheets
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 2/3 cups milk
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 oz pancetta, finely chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 small carrot, chopped
- 4 ounces ground veal
- 4 ounces ground pork
- 8 ounces ground beef
- 2/3 cup red wine
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups milk
- 32 oz canned plum tomatoes, roughly crushed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat. Once it's melted, add the flour and whisk these two ingredients together to create a roux. As it turns golden brown, slowly add in the milk and whisk. Continue whisking until the bechamel is thick. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a large heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat, add the olive oil, pancetta, onion, celery and carrots. Saute for 10 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the ground veal, pork and beef and continue to saute until the meet is fully cooked.
- Add the red wine and let it reduce by half, about 5-6 minutes.
- Stir ½ cup stock into the saucepan and let it bubble slowly, 10 minutes, or until totally evaporated. Repeat with another ½ cup stock. Stir in the last 1/2 cup stock along with the milk. Adjust heat so the liquid bubbles very slowly. Partially cover the skillet, and cook 1 hour. Stir frequently to check for sticking.
- Add the tomatoes, crushing them as they go into the pot. Cook uncovered, at a very slow bubble for another 45 minutes, or until the sauce resembles a thick, meaty stew. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- To assemble, place a layer of the bechamel in a 9x9 baking pan, followed by a layer of the noodles and then topped with a layer of the ragu. Repeat this process 3 times.
- Top the lasagna with the mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden. Let it rest for a few minutes before serving.