I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for quite some time. One weekend I decided to roll up my sleeves and attempt to make pasta from scratch, just so I could make the bestest version of this recipe possible.
If the chicken liver in the recipe is scaring you, don’t let it. If a liver hater were to eat this lasagna they’d have no clue there was liver involved. It just adds a hint of richness to the ragu. The ragu cooks down so much it’s virtually undetectable unless you said “omg can you taste the liver in this?”.
Also, if veal isn’t your thing, you can replace with pork or just use all beef. But use the veal if you can. Totes worth it.
I know truffle oil gets a bad wrap. It’s like the Comic Sans of the cooking world since the flavor is usually produced synthetically than with actual truffles. By all means, if you have an inch or two of black truffle lying around, USE THAT SHIT. Unfortunately, I do not, so I opted for just a tiny bit of truffle oil to impart that delicious umami-ness that truffles are known for. This recipe will be just fine with no truffle anything, but it does add a nice richness. Try subbing truffles with truffle butter, truffle salt, or truffle oil. Next time I try this I’m going to make the bechamel with truffle butter instead of regular unsalted butter. Doesn’t that sound delish?
I love this recipe for a few reasons. I love that it’s not a super heavy cheesy dense type of lasagna. Between the bechamel and the parmesan cheese, you’re not missing any richness. I also love that there’s not a traditional “red” meat sauce. And that there’s red wine… and the recipe only uses 1 cup so I can off the rest of the bottle. Cooking boozy ftw.
Time to assemble the lasagna!
adapted from bon appetit
for the ragu
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 carrots peeled, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound lean ground veal
1/2 pound chicken livers, finely chopped
2 cups water
1/4 cup. tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
for the truffle bechamel
5 tbsp unsalted butter
5 tbsp all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp truffle oil (optional, or use as much fresh truffle as possible if you have it)
1 pound fresh spinach lasagna noodles [Fresh Lasagna Noodle Recipe here]
1 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3 tbsp butter, melted
for the ragu:
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery, and onion. Cook until soft, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add beef, veal and chicken livers. Cook until meats are cooked through, stirring often and breaking up lumps with back of spoon, about 5 minutes.
Whisk 2 cups water and tomato paste in small bowl. Add to meat mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes. Add wine. Bring to boil then reduce heat to medium. simmer until almost all liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made ahead. Chill uncovered until cool, then cover and keep refrigerated.)
for the bechamel
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Gradually whisk in milk, then truffle oil (if using); whisk until thickened, about 5 minutes. (Can be made one day ahead. Chill uncovered until cool, then cover and keep refrigerated.)
for the lasagna
Preheat oven to 400. Cook fresh lasagna noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, 2-3 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold running water. Pat noodles dry. Butter bottom and sides of 15×10×2 glass baking dish. cover bottom of dish with noodles. Spread 1/2 cup of bechamel over noodles. Spread one cup ragu over bechamel. Sprinkle with 1/4 c. Parmesan. Repeat 3 more times noodles, bechamel, ragu and cheese. Top with layer of noodles, spread remaining bechamel over, and sprinkle with 1/4 c. cheese. Drizzle with melted butter. Can be made 8 hours ahead. Keep refrigerated.
Bake lasagna until bubbling at edges and golden, about 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.