Seven Layer Lasagna Bolognese (and cupcakes, too!)

Chauncey and I are in a new apartment and invited my parents to come over for dinner. It is smaller than our last apartment, but the kitchen is fantastic with a ton of countertop space.

After perusing a bunch of recipes and consulting my friends,, and my trusty The Science of Good Cooking, I landed on this recipe for lasagna bolognese.

I loved the opportunity to make homemade pasta after my first huge success with it. The bolognese takes about 4 hours to cook and then needs to chill in the fridge for at least 12 hours (or up to 2 days).

The Prep

On Friday night, I made the bolognese, the béchamel sauce, and the pasta dough. In total it took about 4 active hours in the kitchen. But with my good friends Red Wine and Spotify (my go-to cooking playlist here) by my side, I really enjoyed all the cooking. And the resulting meal was so worth it! 

The Assembly

One thing that really surprised me was the lack of seasoning in this dish. The bolognese has no garlic, herbs, or spices other than salt and pepper. Yet, the dish was so flavorful it was incredible! It was a lesson that you don't need to over season a dish if you have good ingredients and a little time.

The Result:

I popped this puppy in the oven at 350 degrees for about 1 hour with foil on and then removed the foil to broil the top for about 5-10 minutes. 

It. Was. Amazing.

Something on the lighter side for dessert...

For dessert, I wanted something a bit lighter to balance the heavy lasagna bolognese. Lemon Cake! But here's the thing about me and cake. I love the presentation of a beautifully iced cake, triumphantly sitting on a cake stand throne. But I dislike eating a slice of cake. I don't know why. Just something about wedges of cake strikes me as blah. Love a good cupcake though. Same damn thing, just a different shape. Funny how visual elements impact the experience of eating food.

I wanted to spice it up a bit and give filled cupcakes a try. I went with lemon curd in some and vanilla cream (ok, instant vanilla pudding) in the rest. I topped them by piping simple Cool Whip on top. [I really wanted to make homemade whipped topping but my KitchenAid mixer is packed away right now..which is a convenient excuse given that I also just ran out of time even if I had the mixer].

In total, this meal took about 7-8 hours of active preparation. Which sounds a little crazy and I may have found a different recipe if I was warned. But I'm so glad I wasn't. The satisfaction of this lasagna was worth the squeeze. Hopefully I will be a bit more efficient next time. But if not, I'm sure Red Wine and Spotify will keep me company once again.