Venison Lasagna "Bolognese"

Although most people consider lasagna to be a gorgeously layered meat, cheese and red sauce affair some might find it interesting that lasagna is also the “noodle” or wide, flat-shaped pasta. As those wide flat noodles are probably the easiest to create, lasagna noodles are also possibly one of the oldest types of pasta on the planet.


There are a few different styles of lasagna pasta available, dry, fresh, frozen and even no-bake. I’ve heard good and bad things about all of them but I chose to use the classic dried noodle with the ruffled edges. Why you ask? Well that’s what my Mom used and gosh darn it; I like ‘em! But obviously you should choose the pasta that you like, just like I did.

Todays’ lasagna is based on the more traditional Italian Lasagna Bolognese but has been fortified with a delightfully cheesy Mornay sauce while the classic Bolognese gets a makeover with ground venison.

If your lasagna’s suffer from WLS or “Watery Lasagna Syndrome” one key element to curing such a dreaded gastronomic malady is your noodle. Make sure that the dried pasta is verryyyy al dente or under cooked. You want it wilted and pliable but still with some body. As dry pasta hydrates itself during the cooking process by absorbing the cooking water, undercooking it more than normal it will continue to absorb liquid, but this time it will absorb the lasagna cooking liquids in the oven. Result? No WLS and pretty gosh darn tasty noodles to boot!

Lasagna Ingredients

This recipe is not technically a sous vide recipe. By that I mean, every element of this dish is cooked conventionally and since lasagna has multiple elements it can be hard to get them all done in one day. That’s where VacMaster and its vacuum technology really shines. You are able to create all the elements days in advance and after each one is properly cooled it can be vacuum packed and stored until you’re ready to bake.

But wait, there's more!

By letting the lasagna cool and set up until solid (best done refrigerated overnight) the lasagna can then be portioned and vacuum packed in individual servings to be either refrigerated or frozen until you’re hungry. That’s when the SV1 can gently reheat the lasagna without the threat of drying out or even burning the noodles. Reheating lasagna sous vide is truly a game changer; this is the best way I have found not only to reheat this amazing dish but also to offer it to your guests like it was fresh out of the oven!


• 1 recipe Venison Bolognese, see recipe

• For the Herbed Ricotta Blend:

• 3 cups fresh ricotta, high quality

• 1/2 cup parmesan reggiano, grated

• 2 eggs grade A large

• 1/4 cup oregano, chopped

• 1/4 cup parsley, flat leaf, chopped

• For the Fresh Mozzarella Mornay Sauce:

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 3 tablespoons unsalted "sweet” butter

• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

• 2 cups whole milk

• 1 large white onion slice, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick, charred on both sides

• 2 bay leaves, fresh

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

• 1 pound mozzarella, fresh, shredded

• 2 tablespoons roasted garlic, puree

• For the Lasagna:

• 1 pound lasagna noodles, dry, 16 or more pieces, cooked al dente

• 1/2 cup parmesan reggiano, finely grated

• 1/4 cup parsley, flat leaf, chopped

• 1/4 cup oregano, chopped 

ricotta blend

adding herbs to ricotta blend


For the Herbed Ricotta Blend:

1. In a medium sized mixing bowl using a rubber spatula blend together the ricotta, parmesan, eggs, oregano and parsley until smooth.

2. Season to taste lightly with salt and pepper.

3. Set aside until ready to use or vacuum pack and refrigerate until needed.

4. For the Fresh Mozzarella Mornay:

5. In a small non-reactive sauce pan scald the milk over medium high heat then add the charred onion, bay leaves, salt and nutmeg.

6. Remove from the heat, cover and let sit for 15-20 minutes to infuse the milk, reserve

7. In a medium sized non-reactive sauce pan over medium-high heat melt the unsalted butter and after a minute or so add the flour. Using a whisk, blend the flour with the butter until the flour begins to toast to a light blond color with a slightly nutty aroma, about 1 minute.

8. Whisking constantly, strain the infused milk into the hot roux in a steady stream until fully incorporated.

9. Bring to a simmer and whisk in the garlic puree, taste for seasoning and set aside until ready to use or chill thoroughly then vacuum pack and refrigerate until needed.

10. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

11. Using a 13- by 9-inch baking dish or similar spread about 1 cup or so of the venison Bolognese on bottom of the dish and drizzle with about 1/2 cup of the mornay sauce.

12. Top with three of the noodles in single layer

13. Top with another layer of the Bolognese, Mornay and noodles.

14. Using a rubber spatula or similar carefully spread 1/2 of herbed ricotta on top of noodles cover with another layer of the Bolognese and top with more noodles.

15. Top with another layer of the Bolognese, Mornay and noodles.

16. Carefully spread the remaining herbed ricotta mixture on top of noodles, add another layer of the Bolognese and top with more noodles.

17. Top with remaining Bolognese and Mornay.

18. Dust the top of the lasagna with the parmesan and herbs

19. Place the finished lasagna in the middle center of the preheated oven and bake about 45 minutes to an hour or until edges begin to brown and the top is a golden brown and bubbling.

20. Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature and firm up for 10-15 minutes

21. Serve immediately


1. After the lasagna is cooled to room temperature cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

2. Remove from the cold firm lasagna from the baking dish and using a long thin slicing knife portion the lasagna into serving portions

3. Using appropriately sized VacMaster bags and a VacMaster chamber or suction machine vacuum pack each portion.

4. Refrigerate until needed

5. When ready to serve preheat the SV1 to 65c/150F and reheat the lasagna portions for 10-15 minutes to heat through

6. Serve immediately

Cooked Lasagna

Vacuum sealed Lasagna portions