Following the format of a traditional Italian meal; pasta is usually the first course - ESPECIALLY for a holiday meal! This lasagna Bolognese is a classic starter for Christmas Day! The best part about it? You can totally make it in advance! Assemble the whole dish; wrap it good and freeze it until you're ready to bake! You will have to add some additional cooking time but the ease of getting everything on the table and you looking like an entertaining pro is well worth it.
You can, of course, make the dish fresh and serve it right away. It's a hearty meal that is perfect for any cold winter night - not just a holiday meal! And it makes for excellent leftovers.
No matter what occasion you decide to use this dish for, I hope you enjoy it!
Makes one 9x13 pan
Fresh lasagna sheets (either 1 package or 1 batch of fresh pasta dough)
1 batch Bolognese Sauce
one 32 oz. container fresh ricotta cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella + extra
3/4 c. grated parmigiano
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°. (Skip this step if making in advance.**)
In a large bowl combine ricotta, mozzarella, parmigiano, egg, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a 9x13 baking pan, add about a 1/2 c. of Bolognese sauce and spread into an even layer on the bottom.
Place 2 sheets of lasagna into the dish, covering the sauce in the bottom.
Spoon ricotta filling on top of pasta sheets. Then add more sauce on top of cheese. Finally add another pasta layer.
Continue this pattern until all of the pasta, cheese and sauce have been used or the baking dish is filled to the top with layers.
Sprinkle extra mozzarella over the top of the dish. Wrap tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. (**If making the dish in advance, wrap tightly and freeze at this point. Continue with baking when ready to serve, but add 15 minutes to the initial bake time.)
Remove the foil, return the dish to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Serve hot as a first course or main dish.