Lasagna and 9 Other Bolognese Reincarnations

Leftovers are great. They mean quick dinners and food often tastes better because flavours can mingle and mellow. But because the food police say that leftovers should optimally be consumed within four days (and it usually takes me longer than four days to want to eat the same thing again), sometimes a little leftover magic is called for.

The bolognese recipe from Monday made a pretty generous vat of sauce. After freezing some of it, I still have one dinner's worth of sauce left. And while serving it over piles of pasta again is fine, I decided to make a lasagna instead.

I used half whole wheat and half white pasta sheets. Although I want to make a nutritious dinner, I must admit that I'm not a fan of the brittle graininess of whole wheat pasta. So, a compromise had to be made.

Rather than buying a hunk of mozzarella cheese and having even more leftovers sitting in the fridge, I layered bechamel sauce (same recipe as in the moussaka!) with the meat sauce. I sprinkled the top with some parmesan (freshly grated, please) and it browned very nicely. I liked the milky creaminess of the bechamel against the meatiness of the bolognese, but if you prefer the stringy gooeyness of an extra cheesy lasagna, then by all means, go for it.

And if you don't want to have anything pasta-ish and you aren't a bolognese purist, then I present...

9 More Dishes to Make with Leftover Bolognese Sauce:

1. Pizza: Delish with store-bought or homemade crust
2. Calzones: Stuff a half-moon of pizza dough with it
3. Stuff bell peppers of zucchini with pasta sauce and rice
4. Serve over soft polenta (one of my favourites)
5. Serve over rice
6. "Shepherd's Pie": Top with mashed potatoes and cheese
7. Chili con carne
8. Hot sandwich: Spread over crust French bread, top with cheese and broil
9. "Enchiladas": Roll up in a tortilla, top with cheese and bake

and of course...

Lasagna Bolognese:
Serves 8

Leftover bolognese sauce (about 5 cups)
1 lb dry lasagna noodles
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Bechamel Sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cook lasagna noodles until very al dente (should still be a little crunchy in the middle). Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Spread 1/2 cup sauce on the bottom of the dish. Lay out 1 layer of noodles. Spread about 1 1/2 cups sauce over and pour over 1/3 of the bechamel. Repeat with two more layers of noodles and end with a layer of bechamel. Cover the top with parmesan cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

Bechamel Sauce:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Pinch ground nutmeg
2 large eggs

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the milk, salt, and nutmeg. Return to the heat and while whisking constantly, bring to a boil. Simmer 2 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and stir to cool. When the sauce is cool, whisk in the eggs.

Recipe adapted from Food Network Kitchens
Image property of beets and bites

1 comment:

  1. Great ideas! I stuffed it into puff pastry last time. Delicious! https://whilehewasout.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/bolognese-puff-pastry-braid/