Holy Hannah this lasagna is good. Like real real good. If there is anything nice about the winter its being able to whole heartedly enjoy comfort food such as this. I have to admit lasagna isn't my favorite meal, i'm kind of in the camp that usually its just an ok, semi-flavorful dinner. Let me tell you, this lasagna is so packed full of flavor that Matt told me i might need to dilute the sauce! never! :)
I'm super excited today because my first post on uncommon designs is going live. I was asked to be a food contributor and i couldn't be more excited! So please pop over there and see my recipe for the perfect accompaniment to this lasagna, pear and warm goat cheese salad with a fresh meyer lemon dijon dressing. Its super yummy.
Now, on to the lasagna. Let me preface the recipe by saying i know you might read this and think i'm crazy for asking you to cook the sauce for 2 hours the day before you want to eat it. I know, who has that kind of time. But its soooo worth it. I promise you're going to die over the results. I usually make the sauce on a saturday when we aren't busy and then make the lasagna for Sunday dinner.
adapted from bon appetit
For the meat sauce:
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 pound mild italian sausage
3/4 pound chorizo
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth + 1 cup when re-heating
For the bechamel sauce:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
4 cups whole milk, warmed
pinch of nutmeg
Lasagna noodles ( i prefer the bertolli flat noodles)
2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Make the meat sauce: (day before)
Chop the onion, carrot & celery into small pieces. Add all the olive oil, meat & vegetables to a large stock pot over medium heat and cook until meat is browned, breaking up all the meat with a spoon. This will take about half an hour, you want all the moisture to evaporate. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the wine and scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the pot. (take note you should have a good amount of brown bits on the bottom of your pan, if you don't you haven't cooked the meat long enough). Once the wine is mostly absorbed add the milk and bring to a simmer. Cook until its almost evaporated. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, stir until tomato paste is incorporated and then add your broth. Keep sauce at a low simmer for about 2 hours, until sauce looks like a sloppy joe mix. Remove from heat, transfer to an airtight container and put in fridge for at least 12 hours or overnight. The sauce's flavor deepens when its able to sit for a while.
Make the bechamel sauce: (can be done day before or day of)Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in warm milk, ½-cupful at a time. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, whisking often, until the consistency of cream, 8–10 minutes; add nutmeg and season with salt. Remove from heat, transfer to a medium bowl, and press plastic wrap directly onto surface; let cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter your 13 x 9 baking dish.
Reheat the sauces. For the meat sauce add 1 cup chicken broth and heat until warmed through. Also heat the bechamel sauce until heated through, do not boil. Assemble the lasagna by putting 1/4 cup of the bechamel sauce on the bottom of the pan and then layering with noodles, meat sauce, bechamel sauce, and the cheeses. Keep layering until you are out of sauce, i did 4 layers. Bake the lasagna until bubbly 45-60 minutes.
Lasagna can be assembled 12 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Let sit at room temperature 2 hours before baking. Cook, covered with foil until the last 20 minutes, then finish cooking uncovered. I also love to freeze lasagna! Just freeze, thaw in fridge overnight and follow above instructions.