World's Best Lasagna Bolognese

last night we made an insanely delicious lasagna. the recipe came from tastespotting, a "community driven visual potluck" that, after smitten kitchen, is my recipe go-to. tastespotting is a collection of gorgeously photographed food/ recipes, brought together from blogs all over the world. the result is a searchable database of wonderful dishes, which are presented in a neat grid of photography. last night, i decided to try out this skillet lasagna recipe, which uses bechamel instead of ricotta, and calls for a homemade (but quick) bolognese. the recipe also happened to be in romanian. and because google's translation included phrases like "pulp complicated pork," and was measured in metric, i decided to reproduce the recipe here. my recipe includes the handful of edits (like not actually cooking it in a skillet) and substitutions (like the ground turkey, and swapping thyme for oregano).
recipe after the jump.

bolognese sauce:
1 small onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 T olive oil
1 carrot, chopped fine
1 pound ground turkey, italian style
1/2 c red wine
1/2 c milk
1T salt
1 large can of crushed san marzano tomatoes
3 bay leaves
3 basil leaves

in your largest skillet, sautee the onion and garlic until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes. add the carrot and cook until tender, about 3 minutes more. when veggies are cooked through, add ground turkey and cook until the meat loses its pink, breaking up into small pieces. add the milk, wine, and salt. bring to a boil, and lower heat to cook until creamy. add the can of tomatoes, the bay leaves, and the basil leaves, whole. mix thoroughly and allow to cook over low heat for about 30 minutes.

while your sauce cooks, preheat the oven to 400°F, and make the bechamel.

bechamel sauce:
1 1/2 c milk
6 T salted butter
3 T flour
1/4 c parmesan, grated
lots of thyme
salt & pepper

heat the milk in a sauce pan, but do not allow to boil. while the milk is being warmed, melt butter in another sauce pan. when the butter is melted, quickly whisk in the flour and mix until creamy. when the flour and butter is nice and smooth, add it to the milk, and whisk constantly until the sauce begins to thicken. (note: i had not previously made bechamel in this two-pot method, but the results were excellent) when your bechamel looks good, remove it from the heat and stir in parmesan, allowing to melt fully. whisk in thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. leave to rest for now.

prepare your other ingredients:
1 c shredded part-skim mozzarella 
(in this application, i quite liked the results we saw from not using fresh mozzarella )
1/2 c parmesan, grated
1 c basil, chopped
1 box no boil lasagna noodles

now, assemble the lasagna. 

i think its funny that every lasagna recipe has specific instructions for the layering and assembly of the dish. however, after making a bunch of lasagnas, i do think there are some methods that are better than others. here is how we did ours:

in a baking dish lay down noodles, breaking up to fit in an even layer. top with meat sauce, then a layer of bechamel, then some fresh basil and mozzarella. add another layer of noodles, more bechamel, and this time, parmesan. one more layer of noodles on top of that, followed by meat sauce, bechamel, mozzarella, basil and parmesan. bake the lasagna for 40 minutes, or until any noodles that might be poking out have been cooked through. finish under the broiler for a nice crispy top!