Authentic Italian Lasagna Bolognese Recipe

Authentic Italian Lasagna Bolognese Recipe: Step-by-Step Guide

Experience the authentic flavors of Italy with this mouthwatering Lasagna Bolognese. Layers of tender pasta, rich ragù, creamy béchamel, and Parmigiano-Reggiano combine to create a dish that’s both comforting and elegant.

The Magic of Lasagna Bolognese

Lasagna Bolognese is the crown jewel of Italian baked pasta dishes. Hailing from Emilia-Romagna, this lasagna showcases a perfect balance of flavors and textures. Unlike its American counterpart, it doesn’t rely on ricotta or mozzarella. Instead, it celebrates the harmony of four key components: pasta, ragù Bolognese, béchamel, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

What sets this lasagna apart is its refined delicacy. The layers are thoughtfully constructed, allowing each element to shine. The result? A silky, meaty, and slightly sweet masterpiece that will transport you straight to the heart of Italy.

Crafting the Perfect Lasagna Bolognese

Step 1: Choose Your Pasta

While homemade pasta is traditional, don’t let that stop you from making this dish. Fresh store-bought lasagna sheets work beautifully, and even dried pasta can create delicious results. If you’re up for the challenge, try making your own spinach-enhanced pasta for an extra touch of authenticity.

Step 2: Master the Ragù Bolognese

The heart of this lasagna is the ragù Bolognese. This rich meat sauce starts with a soffritto of finely minced vegetables, then combines beef (and sometimes pork or veal) with a touch of tomato, wine, and milk or cream. The result is a deeply flavorful, silky sauce that’s worth the time investment.

Step 3: Prepare the Béchamel

Don’t underestimate the importance of the béchamel sauce. This creamy component binds the layers together and adds a luxurious texture. The key is to make a thinner sauce, as it will thicken during baking. A ratio of just over one tablespoon of flour per cup of milk yields the perfect consistency.

Step 4: Layer with Love

Assembling the lasagna is where the magic happens. Start with a thin layer of ragù, then alternate pasta, ragù, béchamel, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Remember, less is more when it comes to sauce – you want to taste the pasta, not drown it. Finish with a layer of béchamel and a generous sprinkling of cheese.

Step 5: Bake to Bubbly Perfection

Bake your lasagna until it’s bubbling and golden brown on top. Let it rest before serving to allow the layers to set. The result? A lasagna that’s both comforting and refined, perfectly capturing the essence of Italian cuisine.

Lasagna Bolognese Recipe


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 ounces; 60g), plus more for greasing baking dish
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour (1.25 ounces; 35g)
  • 3 cups (700ml) whole milk
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 pounds (900g) fresh homemade plain egg or spinach pasta or store-bought fresh lasagna noodles, or 2 (450g) boxes dry lasagna noodles (see notes)
  • Vegetable oil, for greasing pasta
  • 1 1/2 quarts (1.5L) warm ragù Bolognese
  • 3 ounces (85g) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  1. Create the béchamel sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk to form a paste. Cook until the raw flour scent disappears, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, ensuring a smooth texture. Simmer until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  2. Prepare the pasta: If using homemade pasta, follow your recipe to create long sheets, then cut into 8-inch rectangles. Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente, then cool in an ice bath. Drain and lightly oil the sheets to prevent sticking.
  3. For no-boil pasta: Soak in warm water for 30 minutes, then drain on towels.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter a 9- by 13-inch baking dish.
  5. Assemble the lasagna: Spread a thin layer of ragù on the bottom of the dish. Layer pasta sheets, slightly overlapping. Top with a thin layer of ragù, drizzle béchamel, and sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano. Repeat for about 6 layers.
  6. Finish with a pasta layer, remaining béchamel, and a generous amount of cheese.
  7. Bake for about 35 minutes, until bubbly and browned. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

It’s better to have extra pasta on hand than to run short during assembly. You may not use the full two pounds of fresh pasta or two boxes of dried, but it’s good to be prepared.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
689 Calories
37g Fat
55g Carbs
34g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 689
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 37g 47%
Saturated Fat 15g 74%
Cholesterol 106mg 35%
Sodium 738mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 34g
Vitamin C 17mg 85%
Calcium 336mg 26%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 825mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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