Rolled Beef Lasagna Recipe

The classic dish, revisited—with an epic twist.
October 23, 2019, 11:00am
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 4
Prep time: 25 minutes
Total time: 4 hours


for the bolognese:
1 rib celery, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove
1 small carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
½ Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces|116 grams ground veal
4 ounces|116 grams sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 ounce|35 grams pancetta, ground or processed in a food processor
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup|60 ml white wine
½ cup|120 ml whole milk
1 star anise
1 (14-ounce|397-gram) can crushed tomatoes
kosher salt, to taste

for the besciamella:
8 tablespoons113 grams unsalted butter, cubed
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
½ cup|75 grams all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups|625 ml cold whole milk
kosher salt, to taste


for the tomato sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 (28-ounce|793-gram) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 sprig basil
kosher salt, to taste

for the pasta:
2 cups|270 grams all-purpose flour
8 large egg yolks
1 large egg

for the lasagna:
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup robiola cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Make the bolognese: Place the celery, garlic, carrots, and onion in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, the set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over high, then sear sausage and veal all over, 5 minutes. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add the pancetta to the pot and cook over medium until crispy,1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl with the other meats. Add the processed vegetables and cook over medium until soft, 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes. Add the wine and allow to cook until fully evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the meats back to the pot along with the milk, star anise, and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer over medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Season with salt to taste. Cool completely, then remove the star anise. Makes 2 ⅓ cups|552 ml.
  3. Make the besciamella: Melt the butter in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium. Add the peppercorns, thyme, bay leaves, and shallots and cook until the shallots are translucent, 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in the milk and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Season with salt to taste. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve, discarding the solids. Cool completely. Makes 2 ¼ cups|532 ml.
  4. Make the tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the garlic and cook over low until slightly soft. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and add basil. Season with salt to taste. Remove basil and garlic and cool completely. Makes 3 cups|710 ml.
  5. Make the pasta: Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it comes together into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  6. In the meantime, bring a large saucepan of generously salted water to a boil. Roll the dough into large sheets with a pasta roller to desired thickness (about the 2nd from thinnest). Trim the pasta sheets to 12-inch lengths and cook for 30 seconds in the boiling water, then immediately plunge into an ice bath. Flatten on an oiled sheet tray between layers of parchment paper. Set aside until ready to use.
  7. Assemble the lasagna: Heat the oven to 400°F. Lay 3 sheets of pasta on a clean countertop with the shortest side facing you. Divide and spread a thin layer of besciamella evenly across each sheet of pasta, saving about ¼ cup|60 ml. Sprinkle each with the parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, then place another sheet of pasta on top of each. Divide and spread a layer of bolognese evenly across each of the sheets of pasta, leaving the farthest short edge uncovered with sauce in order to seal the roll closed. Spread the remaining besciamella on each of the uncovered edges, then roll the pasta into a log, sealing the seam closed with the besciamella. Place in the refrigerator to cool. When cool, slice the lasagna log into pinwheels. Ladle 1 ½ cups|355 ml tomato sauce into a 9-inch-by-13-inch casserole dish to cover the entire bottom of the dish in a thin layer. Lay lasagna pinwheels into the casserole until the dish is full. Add dollops of robiola cheese in between the pinwheels. Bake for about 15 minutes or until pasta edges are golden-brown. Top with chopped parsley and serve.

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