The countdown is on….I’m planning a New Year detox in just 5 days.  FIVE!  I got a little fluffy this holiday season and really need to eat more “real” food soon.  If for no other reason than I don’t want to buy new pants.  Bigger pants.  I refuse.  So, for the next 5 days I plan to eat whatever my heart desires.  I plan to eat the rest of the holiday cookies, the remaining beef tenderloin and hash brown casserole.  And the leftover pie, vanilla ice cream and biscotti. Then, it’s game on.

Let me say…this is not a New Year’s resolution.  It’s just a good starting point….January 2 (not the 1st…that’s pork and sauerkraut day.)  It’s the equivalent of saying, “I’ll start on Monday.”  AND I’m not dieting…I don’t diet.  We’re just making some small changes….and you’ll see it here.

But in the meantime, let’s stuff our faces with something gut-busting.  Let’s whip up some Lasagna Bolognese.  I mean, if you’ve made my Bolognese recipe I’m sure you have some sitting in your freezer.  You’re halfway there already.  And because that sauce has been “aging” for a while it’s going to be even richer and fuller than if it was freshly made….making this the lasagna of your dreams.  No lie.

If you can find fresh lasagna sheets (noodles) by all means, use them!  It will make a big difference in the flavor and composition of your lasagna.  If you can only find the dry pasta then use that and follow the directions for boiling ahead of time.  I beg you not to use the no-boil pasta….it’s no good.  Don’t do it.  Please.

If you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve party and are still searching for something to serve, this would work out perfectly.  You can assemble the lasagna the day before…cover and pop it in the oven when you’re ready to party!  So easy!

Lasagna Bolognese - The Suburban Soapbox

Lasagna Bolognese

Serves 10-12

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/3 cup all purpose flour

4 cups whole milk

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

3 cups Bolognese Sauce

16-8″ long lasagna noodles

2 1/2 cups grated parmesan

6 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4 inch slices

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the manufacturer’s directions and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain the noodles and stack on a baking sheet with a paper towel between each layer.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with butter.

In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until foaming.  Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in the milk, 1/2 a cup at a time.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.  Simmer over low heat, whisking often, until it’s thick and creamy, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Reheat the Bolognese Sauce until warmed through.

Spread 1/4 cup of the bechamel sauce in the bottom of the baking dish.  Top with a layer of noodles and spread 3/4 cup of the bolognese over the noodles.  Top the bolognese with 1/2 cup bechamel and 1/4 cup of parmesan. Repeat the process starting with the noodles and ending with the Parmesan until you have 8 layers.  Arrange the mozzarella slices on the top of the lasagna.   Place the baking dish, covered with foil, on a baking sheet and bake the lasagna for approximately 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes or until bubbling and beginning to brown on top.

Let the lasagna rest for 45 minutes before serving.

Make ahead: The lasagna can be assembled the day before, cover and refrigerate.  Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours before baking.

Lasagna Bolognese - The Suburban Soapbox