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Recipe

Beef & Pork Ragù Lasagne

Scott Phillips

Servings: eight to ten.

Ingredients

For The Ragù:

  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium celery stalks, finely chopped (1-1/3 cups)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped (2/3 cup)
  • 2 small yellow onions, finely chopped (1-1/3 cups)
  • 1 lb. boneless beef brisket or chuck, finely diced or ground (2 cups; see tip)
  • 1 lb. boneless pork shoulder, finely diced or ground (1-1/2 cups; see tip)
  • 8 oz. pancetta, finely diced (1-1/4 cups)
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup canned tomato purée
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste diluted in 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups homemade or low-salt canned beef or chicken broth; more as needed
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To assemble:

  • 3/4 lb. fresh lasagne noodles (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1/2 oz. (1 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, plus more for the pan
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Double recipe of Basic Cream Sauce

Nutritional Information

      Nutritional Sample Size based on ten servings
      Calories (kcal) : 620
      Fat Calories (kcal): 350
      Fat (g): 39
      Saturated Fat (g): 17
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15
      Cholesterol (mg): 170
      Sodium (mg): 1140
      Carbohydrates (g): 29
      Fiber (g): 2
      Protein (g): 30

Preparation

Make the ragù:

  • In a 5- to 6-qt. Dutch oven, melt the 6 Tbs. butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots, and onions and cook,  stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Add the beef, pork, and pancetta and cook, breaking up the meats with a spoon and stirring often, until the meats lose their redness, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the wine, tomato purée, and tomato paste and simmer vigorously until the liquid is almost evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the beef or chicken broth and the milk, cover with the lid ajar, reduce the heat to low, and simmer gently until you have a rich, concentrated sauce, about 2-1/2 hours. Check every 30 minutes to see if more liquid is needed, adding more broth if necessary to prevent scorching. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed. Let cool. Skim off the fat from the top, if desired. You should have about 6 cups.

Cook the noodles:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Slip the noodles, two or three at a time, into the boiling water and cook them until they’re tender and pale, 3 to 5 minutes (thinner noodles will cook more quickly). To make sure they’re done, taste a small piece. If it’s still tough, it needs a little more cooking (fresh pasta should not be cooked al dente like dried pasta).
  • Carefully scoop the noodles out of the water with a large wire skimmer and slide them into the ice water to stop the cooking. When they’re cool, layer them between clean dish towels until you’re ready to assemble the lasagne (they’ll keep this way for up to two hours).

Assemble the lasagne:

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Choose a baking dish that’s about 9×12 inches and 3 inches deep, or about 10×14 inches and 2 inches deep. Butter the baking dish. Spread 1/2 cup of ragù in a sparse layer on the bottom of the dish. Then cover with a slightly overlapping layer of cooked noodles, cutting them as needed to fill the gaps. Spread one-third of the remaining ragù (about 1-1/2 cups) over the first layer of noodles. Drizzle on one-third of the Basic Cream Sauce (about 1 cup) and spread it with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup Parmigiano. Add a new layer of noodles, overlapping them slightly.
  • Repeat the layers as instructed above, until all of the filling ingredients are used, to make a total of three layers (you may not need all the pasta). Dot the top with the butter cubes.
  • Put the baking dish on a baking sheet and bake until heated through and bubbling at the edges, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the ragù up to four days ahead and refrigerate it, or freeze it for up to one month. Reheat gently until the sauce is warm enough to spread for assembling the lasagne. The assembled, unbaked lasagne will keep for at least a day in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can freeze it for up to four months (make sure you wrap the dish tightly with plastic). Thaw the lasagne in the fridge and bring it to room temperature before baking.

Tip

To chop the ragù meat, cut each piece into 1/4-inch slices, Then cut the slices into thin strips lengthwise and and dice the strips crosswise. Alternatively, you can pulse the meat in food processor, but be careful not to chop it too finely or into a paste.If time is short and you can’t find fresh pasta sheets in your local stores, use 1 lb. good-quality dried lasagne noodles, cooked according to package instructions.

Reviews

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Reviews

  • user-3014680 | 02/21/2017

    Very rich and very greasy. I used half of the suggested amounts of oil and butter and still had to spoon grease out of the pan.A great cook for a rainy weekend but next time I will reduce the oil and butter even more.

  • Norb66 | 01/17/2017

    This was good. Actually very good. However It's more like a Greek Lasagna so if you are expecting it to be a really delicious traditional tasting Italian lasagna you might be dissatisfied. The use of a bechamel sauce in favor of a ricotta layer and the the hint of cinnamon along with the ragu being more like a thick goulash reminded me more of layered Greek pie in texture and flavor profile. You might miss the layered gooeyness & pillowy texture of a ricotta filling and a more tomato saucy lasagna. it's really not tomatoey (if that's a word) at all. That said, it was an interesting dish and tastey but my wife and daughter didn't care for it and I wouldn't make this for my Italian food living in-laws. Note That I followed recipe exactly except I added some leftover fresh mozzarella on top.

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