Joseph Carr's Firehouse Lasagna


Serves 4


  • 1 carrot, finely, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 rib celery, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1-pound beef, ground
  • 1-pound pork, ground
  • 1/4-pound pancetta or slab bacon finely chopped or ground/minced
  • 1/2 tube tomato paste
  • Teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano, for grating
  • 4 tbsp. flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 8 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, for grating
    Pasta Noodle
  • Dried and prepare according to directions
  • If you have time, you could make fresh pasta sheets or Crepes



  • In a 6 to 8-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic and sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent and soft but not browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the veal, pork, and pancetta and stir into the vegetables. Add thyme. Add the meat over high heat, stirring to keep the meat from sticking together, until browned. Add the tomato paste, milk, and wine and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat.

    Béchamel (the mother sauce)

  • In a medium saucepan, heat butter until melted. Add flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until light golden brown, about 6 to 7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat milk in separate pan until just about to boil. Add milk to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth and bring to a boil. Cook 30 seconds and remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg and set aside. Your béchamel should be thick and lump-free.

    Put it together

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a lasagna pan, assemble the lasagna, beginning with a layer of ragu, a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano, a layer of pasta, a layer of béchamel, a layer of ragu, a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano etc. until all sauce and pasta are used up. The top layer should be pasta with béchamel over it. Top the lasagna with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and bake in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, until the edges are browned and the sauces are bubbling. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Add a green salad such as rocket (arugula) with just lemon and shaved parm. Serve some Josh Cabernet or Josh Cellars Legacy