Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
This post is brought to you in partnership with Hunt’s®.
Whether you’re hosting an intimate dinner for friends or a reunion-worthy family gathering, there’s nothing simpler ( ormore crowd-pleasing!) than baked pasta. The ease of assembling in advance, then setting-and-forgetting it in the oven as it reaches bubbly golden-perfection while guests arrive, is unparalleled. And when it comes to crowd-pleasing baked pasta, it doesn’t get more delicious than lasagna bolognese!
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
- 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped fine
- 1 red onion peeled and chopped fine
- 3 garlic cloves smashed and peeled
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 28 ounce cans Hunt’s San Marzano Style Tomatoes, crushed by hand
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 2 inch piece parmesan cheese rind
For the ricotta:
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh ricotta cheese such as Calabro
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 10 ounce package frozen spinach, drain well
- 1/4 cup chopped basil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter softened
- 15 no boil lasagne sheets such as de cecco
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Heat a medium dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the oil to the hot pan and warm an additional 30 seconds. Add the meat and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the hot pan and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon to break apart the meat, until the meat is cooked and the liquid has evaporated so the meat is beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the carrots, onion and garlic and season with another 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often for about 5 minutes or until the meat is browned and the vegetables are beginning to soften. Stir in the tomato paste and cook another 2 minutes. Deglaze with the red wine and allow the wine to cook down until almost completely evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low in order to just maintain a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes until slightly reduced but there is still liquid remaining. Season with the remaining salt.
- Meanwhile in a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, salt, drained spinach and basil. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Butter the inside of a 9×13 dish. Spread 1 1/2 cups of the meat sauce on the bottom of the pan. Layer 5 noodles on the bottom of the pan breaking them as needs so they fit. Spread 1/2 the ricotta mixture on the noodles and sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Spoon another 2 cups of the meat sauce on top and repeat this process one more complete time. Top with the remaining 5 noodles, sauce and cheeses. Cover with buttered foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an addition 20 minutes. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.