from scratch. [homemade lasagna bolognese w. ricotta & spinach]

December 14th, 2020 by | comments

Is there anything more comforting and delicious than lasagna? Better yet, homemade lasagna? This recipe is made completely from scratch (well, almost) and is worth every hour it takes to make. The dish is layered with homemade noodles, followed by a 3-hour ragu, a spinach and ricotta mixture, and shredded mozzarella cheese. I’m drooling just trying to explain it – SO good!

homemade lasagna bolognese w. ricotta & spinach
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
  • Ragu recipe:
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion (approx. 1½ cups), very finely diced
  • 1-2 celery ribs/sticks (approx. 1 cup), very finely chopped
  • 2 carrots (approx. ¾ cup), peeled and very finely chopped
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 cups tomato puree
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Spinach and ricotta mixture recipe:
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 6 oz. baby spinach, rinsed and dried
  • 1 lb. 14 oz. (approx. 3½ cups) ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • Pasta recipe:
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting and rolling out
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. water, plus more as needed
  • Lasagna recipe:
  • Fresh pasta noodles
  • Ragu
  • Spinach and ricotta mixture
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella
  • Parmesan, to sprinkle on final layer of lasagna
  1. For the ragu:
  2. Heat a large pot over medium heat, then add olive oil. Add diced onion, celery and carrots and cook until softened and onions are translucent, around 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the ground beef, breaking up the meat as it cooks for a few minutes. Add the red wine, then increase the heat to high to allow the alcohol to vaporize, around 3-4 minutes.
  3. Next, add the tomato puree and the tomato paste and stir everything together. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2½ - 3 hours, until ragu is thick, flavorful and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  5. For the spinach and ricotta mixture:
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add the spinach and toss frequently with the oil using tongs, cooking until wilted, approx. 5 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a paper towel-lined plate and thoroughly pat dry. Set aside until cooled and dried.
  7. Once cooled, add to a large bowl, then add ricotta cheese, egg, nutmeg, parmesan, salt and pepper. Mix everything together with a spatula, then place mixture in fridge until ready to use.
  8. For the pasta dough:
  9. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the eggs, flour, olive oil, salt and water. Mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes, or until the dough starts to come together. Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead the dough for 2-4 minutes or until soft to the touch and pliable. If the dough is too sticky, add flour in small increments. If the dough cracks or seems too dry, add water in small increments until you reach the right consistency.
  10. Once your dough reaches the right consistency, form it into a disk or ball and wrap tightly in a piece of plastic wrap. Set aside for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  11. Unwrap your dough and place on a generously floured surface. Cut the dough into 4 equal size pieces. Flatten them out with your finger tips prior to running through the pasta roller.
  12. With the roller attachment fixed to your stand mixer and set to the lowest setting (1 for KitchenAid), insert the dough through the top. Once it goes through, fold the dough in half. Flour your dough and run it through a second time. Repeat this step, if necessary, flouring when needed, until the sheet is smooth and elastic. Increasing the setting by one step (2 for KitchenAid), insert the sheet again, but don't fold it over this time. Increasing the setting another step (go to 4 for KitchenAid), insert the sheet once again. Increasing the setting again (6 for KitchenAid), insert the sheet once again. For the last time, increasing the setting (7 for KitchenAid), insert the sheet once again - making sure to be very careful and gentle with the dough, as it will be very thing and delicate at this point. The pasta sheet should be roughly 1/16" thick. Repeat the above steps for the remaining dough, laying out each sheet on a generously floured surface. Cut pasta sheets lengthwise into three sheets, then cut in half (or the length of your lasagna pan.
  13. Working in batches, cook fresh lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until just softened, about 10 seconds. Remove carefully with tongs and transfer to a large bowl of ice water; let cool. Drain noodles and stack on a baking sheet, with paper towels between each layer, making sure noodles don't touch, as they will stick together.
  14. For the lasagna:
  15. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13x9" baking dish with olive oil spay or butter.
  16. Spread ¼ cup ragu in the prepared baking dish. Top with a layer of noodles (three sheets across), spread over ½ cup ragu and ¼ cup spinach and ricotta mixture (spread ragu and ricotta mixture with a spatula to coat the surface of the noodles - it's fine if they mix together), and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Repeat process 6-8 more times, starting with noodles and ending with mozzarella, for as many layers as you can get out of your noodles. Sprinkle grated Parmesan on top of the final layer. Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and cook lasagna until bubbling and beginning to brown on top, 50–60 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

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