There are few dishes with such a broad quality/identity spectrum as lasagna. Done well, it’s an epic experience: layers upon layers of noodles, meat ragu, bechamel, and just the right amount of cheese. Done poorly, it’s just some wide pasta with hamburger, Prego, and ricotta. Or worse…frozen, with eighty grams of saturated fat per serving and three days worth of sodium.
Deb from [excellent] Smitten Kitchen confesses,
This, this is my culinary Mount Everest. This twenty-layer striation of noodles, ragu, béchamel and cheese, repeated four times and then some took me more than five years to conquer…Oh sure, it looks like an ordinary broiled mass of cheese, pasta and meaty tomato sauce but it’s so much more. To make it as I dreamed from that day forward I wanted to, everything gets a lot of love and time. The ragu is cooked for hours. The béchamel (ahem, besciamella), although the simplest of the five “Mother Sauces,” is still a set of ingredients that must be cooked separately, and in a prescribed order…And the cheese? There’s just one, Parmesan, and it doesn’t overwhelm.
Deb’s ultimate lasagna bolognese recipe is based on that by Anne Burrell, who’s lasagna is the only one I’ve made since first trying it three years ago. So, be warned, ’cause you’ll never be able to go for ricotta and “spaghetti sauce” again.
Lasagna Bolognese [Smitten Kitchen]