At RMHC, comfort food takes on a new meaning. At the end of a long day in the hospital, coming ‘home’ to a warm, home-cooked meal can feed the body, heart and soul. 
 
Most every night, at most every Ronald McDonald House around the world, you can find volunteers taking time out of their busy schedules to prepare dinner for the families staying at the House. And sometimes, those meals are pretty over the top with literal layers of love baked into them; and the hope that the nutrients will give families the strength to face another day battling medical complications. 

Below is one of our favorite recipes. It’s a project, so block off the day and be prepared to get messy. But trust us, spending a little extra time and adding a couple more layers of love, will make this meal an even bigger hit at your local Ronald McDonald House. 
 
Lasagna Bolognese 
 
Bolognese Sauce: 
Ingredients: 
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground chuck
6 ounces pancetta (or bacon) finely chopped
14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup white wine
1 cup milk
3 cups chicken stock
Salt, pepper
 
Directions: 
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil and add onion, carrot, celery, garlic and meats. Break up meats as you brown. Cook for 25-30 minutes until meat is all browned and liquid that has formed is soaked up. Add wine, scraping up browned bits as you stir. Add tomatoes and milk. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 8-10 minutes. Add 2 cups of chicken stock, bring to a boil again, add salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 3-4 hours, until aromatic, reduced by 1/4 or so. Remove from heat, let cool and then refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 2 days. You will add the last cup of chicken stock when you reheat the sauce before assembly.
 
Pasta
Ingredients: 
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/4 - 1/2 cup water
 
Directions: 
In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Make a well in middle and crack eggs into well. Beat eggs together with whisk, then add 1/4 cup water. Start folding in flour and bring together with wooden spoon or your hands until dough starts to form. If you need more water, add a tablespoon at a time, just until dough comes together. Knead for 5 minutes or so until smooth and supple. Wrap in plastic wrap and let sit for 2 hours. You can make dough one day ahead by wrapping and chilling. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before working with it though.

Béchamel Sauce
Ingredients: 
5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
4 cups milk (you can use 2% or whole milk) - room temperature or slightly warmed
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt
 
Directions:
In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium low heat. Add flour and whisk together vigorously. Heat for one minute continuing to whisk. Add milk, 1 cup at a time, stirring to make sure everything is incorporated each time. Continue whisking for 10-15 minutes until sauce is creamy and coats a spoon. Remove from heat and let set a couple minutes. It's better if you make this sauce right before you are ready to assemble.
 
Assembly:
You will need some butter and 2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
 
Heat large pot of water until it reaches a rolling boil.
 
Grease a 10x13 inch pan with butter.
 
Set up a pasta rolling station, a bowl with ice water, and a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
 
Roll out dough, working in batches. Break the dough into three pieces and worked with each one separately. You are going to start the rolling on the thickest setting of your pasta machine and work your way to the thinnest setting, about 1/16 inch thick. After you have rolled out one full piece, cut in half if necessary (most likely will be necessary) and submerge in boiling water for ten second. Remove, dump in ice water, and then lay out on paper towels. Repeat this process until all dough is rolled out and all noodles have been cooked. You will need to add paper towels in between every layer of drying noodles, otherwise they will stick.
 
Add 1/2 cup of béchamel to bottom of pan. Spread around. Lay down first layer of noodles. Add 3/4 cup of bolognese sauce, 1/2 cup of béchamel and sprinkling of Parmesan. Repeat seven times, starting with the noodle layer and ending with Parmesan cheese.
 
Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes covered with foil. Bake 10 more minutes without foil. Let sit for 45 minutes before cutting and serving.