Made with layers and layers of saucy meat and creamy cheese, you can make this Lasagna Bolognese ahead of time so it's an ideal main when you have a lot of hungry mouths to feed.
3 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 small onions, chopped
4 carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
2 pounds ground beef
2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 (14 ounce) cans puréed tomatoes
1 heaping tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
1 heaping tbsp. finely chopped thyme
2 tsp. dried chili flakes, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
10 to 12 fresh lasagna sheets
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 (12 ounce) ball of mozzarella, grated
1 to 2 tbsp. butter (optional)
Handful chopped Italian parsley, for garnishing (optional)
In a large Dutch oven or saucepan, heat butter and oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and continue to cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Increase heat to medium high. Add ground beef, salt and pepper. Stir, to break up the meat. Cook until meat browns, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add chili flakes, herbs, diced tomatoes and puréed tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cook lasagna sheets according to package directions. Trim sheets as needed to fit a 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan.
Cover the bottom of the baking dish with a little sauce. Add one layer of lasagna sheets. Cover with a good amount of Bolognese sauce. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan and mozzarella. Dot with a few tsp. of butter, if desired. Repeat to make 5 to 6 layers.
Cover lasagna with foil. Bake lasagna, covered, for first 30 minutes. Remove foil, and bake uncovered, until filling bubbles, cheese melts and top of lasagna is golden brown, about 30 minutes more. Total cooking time is 1 hour. Let lasagna stand 15 minutes before serving. Finish with fresh chopped parsley.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings.