Lazy Lasagna with Lamb Ragu, Spinach and Ricotta

TOTAL TIME: 2 hr 50 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive Prep: 1 hr
Cook: 1 hr 20 min
 
YIELD: 6 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

LAMB RAGU:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • A couple sprigs rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or marjoram, finely chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    LASAGNA:
    • Salt
    • 1 pound wavy edge lasagna noodles, broken into large, irregular pieces
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 2 rounded tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 2 1/2 cups milk
    • Freshly ground black pepper
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    Directions

    TIP: If doubled, the ragu recipe freezes well. Rather than making it into lasagna the second-time around, defrost sauce, heat through then stir in 1 cup warm milk and simmer to thicken, serve with penne, rigatoni, pappardelle or bucatini as an alternative to classic Bolognese. Top with pecorino, mint and/or parsley.
    For the ragu: Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil smokes, pat the ground lamb dry and add to pan, brown to caramelize the meat, season with rosemary, marjoram, cloves, salt, and pepper. Once the meat has browned, add the onion, carrot, garlic and cook to soften 10 minutes more, stirring frequently. Stir in tomato paste, cook 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in stock then wine, reduce heat to low and gently simmer.

    In salted boiling water, undercook the pasta by 2 minutes from package directions. Reserve a cup of starchy pasta liquid.

    Meanwhile, heat the butter in a saucepot over medium heat, whisk in 2 tablespoons flour, 1 to 2 minutes, whisk in the milk and simmer to thicken. Season the bechamel sauce with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, to taste.

    Drain the pasta and add back to the pasta pot. Toss the pasta with the lamb ragu and some of the reserved starchy cooking water to loosen. Pour the pasta into a large casserole. Scatter the spinach around on top of pasta.

    Combine the ricotta with mint and/or parsley, dot the pasta with ricotta evenly around the casserole. Pour the bechamel sauce in even layer around the casserole and top with grated cheese. Cool and store for make-ahead meal. Reheat in 350 degree F oven, covered, for 30 minutes then raise the heat to 425 degrees F and bake uncovered, until brown and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.

    To serve immediately, transfer the casserole to a preheated 425 degree F oven and bake about 15 to 20 minutes, to brown.

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    3

    Newest Ratings and Reviews

    Read all 4 reviews

    • on August 29, 2011

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      I was really hoping for more flavor out of this dish. With all the interesting ingredients, I was surprised that it lacked flavor. The dish was eatable and made a lot, however it was missing something I couldn't put my finger on. I did substitute the Lamb for Beef and added mushrooms and eggplant. I like the idea of the recipe however I thought it was more on the difficult side to prepare. It also made a ton! I also increased the cooking time.

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    • on June 07, 2011

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      I would make this again, but definitely without the cloves. Both my boyfriend and I did enot like the taste that it added to the dish. I would also increase the cooking time. I made this during the day, put it in the fridge and followed time guidelines for reheating, but it still had some cold spots in the casserole dish.

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    • on May 19, 2011

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      My family is in love with Rachael Ray!!! Even my 3 year old loves to watch her shows. I planned on making this recipe last night and was running late getting home from work. When I got there my teenage son was already making it. He followed my plan on substituting ground beef for the lamb and oregano for the marjoram. He didn't use the clove (which I think would have been a nice addition)...and needed me for the wine. LOL But I let him go start to finish. He did a great job and it was incredible. The flavor is amazing. He said it was very easy to make. All of my kids loved it and my hubby was sad he missed it. The kids want to make it again this weekend. They even took it for their school lunches today. Big hit!!!

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