The American Midwest owes Italy an apology for cruelly converting lasagna into a heavy, goopy, tummy-twisting cheese disaster that no one but Garfield really feels good about eating. True lasagne is delicately constructed, boldly flavored, nearly cheese-less. This lasagna bolognese from Simply Recipes–admirably submitted by an irate Italian reader in response to their Americanized “quick & easy lasagna!” post–is sufficiently similar to other versions I have followed from cookbooks I brought home from Italy. It’s slow, but can be done in stages. It uses all your pots, but happily ends all in one dish, leaving you 20 minutes of cook time to clean up the kitchen. And most importantly, it’s light, healthy, divine.
- instead of pancetta (after 8 yrs of italian cooking, i have still never managed to locate this at a store) i substituted 4 slices of bacon, but only because i happened to have them on hand. can’t go wrong with bacon. just drain the fat before you add the carrot/onion mix.
- chopped veggies for the mirepoix in advance. left out celery because: yuck.
- started the meat sauce in late afternoon & let it stew for a couple hours as directed, but 30 minutes would be fine too if you’re pressed for time.
- bechamel sauce was totally easy, since I properly heated the milk this time!
- forgot the foil during cooking, so the top layer dried out & was difficult to cut. don’t forget the foil.