Steam-Baked Lasagna Bolognese

Anja Bauman
Anja Bauman
November 27, 2023
For a truly epic lasagna Bolognese, use the Anova Precision Oven to precisely simmer the sauce and steam-bake the finished casserole for a perfectly browned top that won’t dry out or turn leathery. My bolognese sauce was inspired by recipes from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt and Daniel Gritzer. Lopez-Alt’s oven method is improved in the APO; you never have to worry about scorching (or stirring) with its precise temperature control. Because I wanted to keep the ingredient list simple, I stuck with ground beef and ground pork for my meat blend. Since I don’t add ground veal, which is rich in collagen, I used Gritzer’s trick to add a bit of powdered gelatin to the sauce to give it body. To assemble the lasagna, I like to use a traditional bechamel and not-so-traditional dried pasta. After all of the work assembling the sauce, I am happy to skip making pasta from scratch. Notes: You can make the bolognese sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months. You will need to reheat it slightly before layering it in the lasagna.
Serves
4
Prep Time
00:40
Cook Time
04:30
Steam-Baked Lasagna Bolognese
0
287
Ingredients
For the Bolognese
1 cup
beef stock
2 Tbsp
unflavored gelatin
1 (14-ounce) can
whole peeled tomatoes
3 Tbsp
unsalted butter
4 oz
pancetta, finely diced
1 small
onion, finely diced (4 oz / 113g)
2 stalks
celery, finely diced (2.5 oz / 70g)
1 medium
carrot, finely diced (2.5 oz / 70g)
2 lb
80% lean ground beef
1 lb
ground pork
4 tsp
kosher salt
1 tsp
freshly ground black pepper
2
bay leaves
1 Tbsp
fresh thyme, finely chopped
¼ tsp
ground nutmeg
2 cups
whole milk
1.5 cups
dry white wine
For the Bechamel
4 Tbsp
unsalted butter
¼ cup (35 g)
all-purpose flour
3.33 cups
whole milk
1 tsp
kosher salt
¼ tsp
freshly ground black pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg
For the Lasagna
Salt, for the pasta water
1 lb
dry lasagna noodles
5 oz
Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
Steps

1. Preheat the Oven

Rack
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: 100%
Temp: 275°F
Heat: Rear

2. Bloom the Gelatin and Puree the Tomatoes

In a small bowl, combine the beef stock and the gelatin and set aside to let bloom. Place the canned tomatoes with their juices into a blender and blend until smooth. Alternatively, use a hand blender to do the same. Set aside.

3. Start the Bolognese

Place a 5- to 7-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the butter, and let it melt. Once melted, add the pancetta and cook, stirring often, just until the pancetta starts to brown on the edges, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook until the vegetables are just tender and the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef, ground pork, salt, and pepper. Stir to break up the meat and cook just until the meat is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Add the pureed tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, and nutmeg and stir to combine. Add the milk, white wine, and beef mixture. Adjust the heat to high and bring to a simmer.

4. Cook the Bolognese

Rack
Transfer the Dutch oven to the Precision Oven and let cook until the liquid has reduced just below the meat mixture and the sauce begins to brown, about 4 hours. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and spoon off some of the fat if desired. Discard the bay leaves.
Cook the Bolognese
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: 100%
Temp: 275°F
Heat: Rear
04:00 Timer

5. Adjust the Oven for the Lasagna

Rack
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: 25%
Temp: 370°F
Heat: Rear

6. Make the Bechamel

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, until the flour cooks slightly without turning brown, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in the milk and add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook, still whisking, until the mixture starts to thicken and coat the back of a spoon, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, set aside, and let cool slightly. Press a piece of plastic wrap on top of the bechamel to prevent a skin from forming on top.

7. Cook the Pasta

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the lasagna noodles until just tender, about 10 minutes.

8. Assemble the Lasagna

Spread a small amount of Bolognese sauce into the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Place a single layer of pasta on top, followed by 1 heaping cup Bolognese then about ⅓ cup bechamel, and finally a light sprinkle of Parmesan. Repeat three more times. After the last layer, place a single layer of pasta on top and pour the last of the bechamel on top. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
Assemble the Lasagna

9. Steam-Bake

Rack
Transfer the lasagna to the oven and bake until bubbly and browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
Steam-Bake
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: 25%
Temp: 370°F
Heat: Rear
00:20 Timer

10. Rest and Serve

Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Rest and Serve
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