Meaty spinach lasagne with béchamel sauce (Lasagne verdi al forno)

    1 hour 30 min

    An especially lovely and hearty lasagne. The gorgeous green colour and flavour of spinach lasagne sheets layered with minces of pork, beef and ham as well as beautifully earthy chicken livers and salty bacon will assure that your meaty lasagne needs are beautifully met! Herbs, spices, cheeses, veg and the creamy béchamel sauce only add to this rich beautiful Italian lasagne. A bit of extra work, but so very worth it.

    57 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • Pasta
    • 140g spinach - rinsed, stemmed and dried
    • 2 eggs
    • 100g pasta flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 190g plain flour
    • Ragu
    • 30g butter
    • 2 rashers bacon, diced
    • 1 carrot, diced
    • 1 stick celery, diced
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 100g lean pork mince
    • 100g lean beef mince
    • 100g minced ham
    • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 240ml beef stock
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 100g chicken livers, trimmed and chopped
    • Béchamel
    • 30g butter
    • 2 tablespoons plain flour
    • 480ml warm milk
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
    • Cheese
    • 135g grated Parmesan cheese
    • 570g ricotta cheese
    • 45g butter

    Prep:1hr  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:1hr30min 

      To make pasta dough:

    1. Steam the spinach in a steamer or over boiling water until bright green, 2 minutes. Squeeze to remove excess moisture and process in a food processor to make a paste. Combine spinach with eggs, pasta flour and salt and process until smooth. Stir in enough of the flour to make a smooth dough. Knead briefly, cover and set aside.
    2. To make ragu:

    3. In a large frying pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Saute bacon, carrot, celery and onion until onion is translucent. Stir in pork, beef and ham and cook until browned. Stir in tomato purée, oregano and beef stock (reserve the chicken livers for later). Season with salt and pepper, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes.
    4. To make béchamel:

    5. While the ragu is simmering, combine 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons flour in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk to make a roux. Remove from heat, let rest one minute, then whisk in warm milk. Return to heat, simmer 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Season with salt and nutmeg. Remove from heat.
    6. To cook pasta:

    7. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. On a floured surface, divide pasta dough into three portions. Roll each portion out to a thin sheet. Have ready an ice water bath. Cook each sheet 3 minutes in the boiling water; remove from the boiling water and dip in the ice water; drain and dry on a clean, dry cloth.
    8. To finish ragu:

    9. Stir the chicken livers into the simmering sauce. Cook 1 minute, remove from heat and set aside.
    10. Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Grease a 20x30cm baking dish.
    11. To assemble lasagne:

    12. Place one pasta sheet in bottom of prepared baking dish. Spread one third of the ragu, one quarter of the béchamel, one third of the ricotta and one quarter of the Parmesan over the pasta. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining béchamel and Parmesan and dot with butter.
    13. Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes, until top is golden brown.

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    Reviews in English (46)


    D*MN! is all I and my family can say! I took this to a big family get together and it was voted unanimously (By northern italians) the BEST lasagne they ever had. We are talking raised in northern Italy folks. Well, I made a few adjustments, to make it a bit easier. I used Barilla oven ready lasagne noodles, mixed my ricotta with 0ne egg and 1 frozen, but thawed and squeezed dry box of spinach. I thickened the bechamel by using 4T of flour instead of 2, it was very runny with just 2. (Dont skip the nutmeg, this is a great flavor complement. For the meat I used 7oz each of ground Buffalo, pork and veal. (Veal makes a difference, dont just use ground beef) and instead of tomato paste, I added 1 16oz can of wild porcini marinara.(found at Trader Joes) This is going in my forever book here at home. Not too saucy, not too cheesy, PERFECT!  -  13 Sep 2004  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    The best lasagne I have ever had. I am never going back to the American version. The bechemel sauce really is key to this dish. One thing for new cooks making bechemel sauce, make sure you use whole milk. I tried making it once with skim milk and it didnt work. You need that fat in there. You can make the meat sauce a day or two ahead so it will develop its flavors more  -  29 Jan 2005  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Alrighty, I found the pasta easy to make if you use your food processor. A good marble or teflon rolling pin makes rolling the pasta a breeze. No real need for a pasta machine here. You can also make the pasta sheets the night before, layer between wax paper and refrigerate to expedite things in the kitchen the next day.(do not cook pasta until ready to use) I decided to double both sauces just in case I felt a single batch was too little. (another reader complained of too little sauce) If you use a small food processor to chop your vegetables you will be done in record time. I used most of both sauces when I assembled the lasagna. What a delightful aroma while the Ragu was cooking. This is not difficult, it just sounds that way. Excellent flavors! Do try this one, you will be pleased, my guests certainly were.  -  24 Oct 2005  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)