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Rodney Bower's Bolognese and Bechamel Sauce

We share the magic of a make-ahead meal with these recipes for delicious lasagna sauces!



For the bolognese sauce:

  • 450 grams ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, ground
  • 3 ribs of celery, ground
  • 1 large onion, ground
  • 125 millilitres of red wine
  • 50 grams of dried porcini mushrooms, soaked then ground
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 800 grams san marzano tomatoes hand crushed
  • 225 gram can of tomato paste
  • 1 pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
  • 250 grams butter
  • 1 sprig Fresh Sage
  • 2 sprigs fresh Rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

For the Bechamel sauce:

  • 1 small onion, finely minced
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 300 millilitres milk
  • 500 millilitres cream
  • 50 grams butter
  • 50 grams flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg


For the Bolognese sauce:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Brown off ground beef in a large pot on med-high heat then pour meat in a bowl and aside to drain. Save the pot
  3. In the same pot, add the olive oil and the ground carrot, celery, onion and brown these off for approximately five to six minutes.
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook out for two to three minutes. 
  5. Add the red wine and reduce until almost dry. 
  6. Add the drained meat, mushrooms, tomatoes, sage, rosemary, and thyme into the pot and bring to boil. 
  7. Cover and simmer for a couple hours until the meat is soft and tender. 

For the Bechamel sauce:

  1. Sautée the onion and garlic in a pot on medium heat with the butter.
  2. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to mix. Cook over a gentle heat for two minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Slowly add the milk and cream and keep stirring until the sauce is smooth.
  4. Add the bay leaf and sprig of thyme.
  5. Cook the béchamel for five minutes over a low heat to cook out the flour and thicken.
  6. Remove from the heat and add the nutmeg
  7. Remove the bay leaf and thyme.

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