Anthony Bourdain's Lasagne Bolognese: The Three-meats Trick

anthony bourdain’s lasagne bolognese: the three-meats trick

For Anthony Bourdain, the secret to good lasagne Bolognaise is lots of meat and lots of patience!

You might wonder why you need patience. Well, even though it's absolutely irresistible, lasagne is better served the next day, when it has settled.

But either way, this special lasagne Bolognaise from Anthony Bourdain will take your taste buds to heaven.


3 tbsp olive oil


1 large white or yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 large or 3 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped

3 ribs celery, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

½ tsp fresh thyme leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1-2 chicken livers, trimmed of connective tissue and fat and finely chopped

¾ pound ground beef chuck


¾ pound ground veal

¾ pound ground pork (can be replaced with the same amount of ground beef and veal)

¾ cup tomato paste (about 6 ounces)

1 cup Vermentino, Trebbiano, or other Tuscan white wine (can be replaced with a smaller amount of white vinegar)

1½ cups whole milk

2 bay leaves

4 cups Béchamel sauce

¾ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


1 pound dry flat lasagne noodles

6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, very thinly sliced

How To Prepare

For the Bolognese sauce, in a medium, heavy-bottom pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add your onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and thyme, and then season with salt and black pepper.

Stir the veggies regularly using a wooden spoon for 7 to 9 minutes, until they are tender and moist.


Add the chicken livers and stir for 2 minutes over high heat.

Then, stir in the beef, veal, and pork, and break them up over high heat. Again, season with salt and black pepper.

Cook over high heat until the meat becomes brown, with regular stirring and scraping the pot's bottom, just to keep the meat and vegetables from burning.

Once you are done, lower the heat to medium and add the tomato paste. Then, let everything cook with regular stirring.


Add the white wine or vinegar and bring to a boil. Let it all cook until reduced by half. Then, it's time to add the bay leaves and milk, bring to a boil once again.

Simmer on low heat for 1½ to 2 hours and stir occasionally. If the sauce needs it, add a bit of water (or veal or chicken stock).

Have a little taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Turn off the heat and stir to slightly cool it down.


Get rid of the excess fat on top using a ladle then discard.

Layering Method

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (356 Fahrenheit).

Cover the inside of a 9x13 inch baking dish with the rest of the oil.

Cover the dish's bottom with a layer of béchamel, cover the béchamel with a thin layer of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, top everything off with a layer of noodles, then top the noodles with a layer of the delicious Bolognese sauce.


Then, just repeat—béchamel, cheese, noodles, and Bolognese sauce—until you have a full-to-the-top pan.

To make the final layer, Bolognese, dot it with béchamel, and lay thin mozzarella slices all over the top.

Once you are done, just put the dish over a sheet pan and leave it in the preheated oven for about 50 minutes.

You know it's done and delicious when the lasagne is brown and bubbling on top. Then you can get the baking dish out of the oven and let it cool.


Best Served

If you have to serve it the same day, let it rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

But if you're seeking the best results, you should let it cool overnight.

Reheat it the next day after loosely covering it with foil.

When it bubbles, get it out and let it rest for about 20 minutes, and voila! You can now enjoy the special lasagne Bolognese recommended by Anthony Bourdain himself!