My Italian Lasagne

I used to be terrified of making Lasagne. So many steps and components and remembering the right order to assemble, OMG, right? Why not just make Spaghetti Bolognese??

Until one day I found some old recipe that explained it all step-by-step and bang – lasagne made easy(ish), so now it’s not just a favourite, it’s also a regular at our home.

I wont lie, lasagne takes time! However, when you break it down to components, it ain’t that hard to make.

So, guys…

I give you the most moist, cheesy, yummy lasagne recipe ever, step-by-step, with a all-lot of great tips, so that hopefully you’ll find it as easy and as delicious, and before you know it it’ll become a regular at your home too.

Psss.. Don’t miss on the Tips! there are some great ideas that will help you bake the perfect lasagne.

Ingredients:

This will make a three layers lasagne in a 13×9 inches baking pan

For the Ragu (meat-based sauce)

750 gram minced beef
300 gram minced lamb
1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
1 pack (500ml) passata
3 large carrots, finally chopped
3 celery sticks, finally chopped
3 medium red onions, finally chopped
2 heaped tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 cube parsley
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 tbsp Philadelphia spice*
1 tsp cumin
Salt & pepper to taste
1 pack (375g) lasagne sheets – will normally contain 19-20 sheets
150 gram grated cheddar
150 gram grated mozzarella

* can be replaced with paprika

For the Béchamel sauce

2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1½ cup milk
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

Prepping the ragu

Saute the carrots, onions and celery in 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter until translucent, season with salt & pepper to taste, set aside.

In the same pan, fry all the meat with 1 tbsp oil until cooked through, add the sauteed vegetables and the red wine, cook together for couple of minutes.

In a blender, wiz together chopped tomatoes, passata and spices, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the tomatoes sauce into the meat and veggies pan. Lower the heat to minimum, allow to cook for 15 more minutes.

Prepping the Béchamel sauce

Warm the milk to almost boiling point, set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat, when all melted add the flour, mix until all combined using a wooden spoon.

Cook the roux (butter-flour mix) for couple more minutes on low heat to allow the flour to cook well.

Add 1/3 of the hot milk into the roux and whisk until well combined, before adding the rest of the milk.

Whisk gently until the all mixture comes to a boil, season with nutmeg, salt & pepper, lower the heat and cook couple more minutes, stirring constantly.

Add 50 grams of each of the cheeses, stir until all melted.

Preheat oven to 180 °C (160° fan) \ Gas 4 \ 350 °F

Assembling the Lasagne

Tip: soak the lasagne sheets in hot water for 2-4 minutes to make them easier to handle.

Spread couple of spoonfuls of the ragu on the bottom of the pan. Layer with lasagne sheets on top of the sauce.

Spread half of the remaining ragu over the pasta sheets and cover with a thin layer of the bechamel sauce.

Lay another layer of pasta sheets.

Spread the second half of the ragu, laying another layer of bechamel sauce on top and top that with the last layer of pasta.

Cover the top layer of pasta sheets with bechamel sauce and cover completely with mixture of the remaining grated cheeses.

Bake for 35-40 minutes in the middle of the oven until starts to bubble.

Tips:

For a cheesier lasagne, spread a little grated cheese between the layers

Warming the milk before adding to the roux will prevent it from getting lumpy because of a sudden drop in temperatures.

The more you cook the bechamel after adding the milk the thicker the consistency will be.

Spreading some of the ragu sauce on the bottom of the pan will allow the pasta to cook underneath and prevent it from sticking.

Using a whole fat milk will give a creamier bechamel, however this recipe uses lamb meat which is naturally fatty so beware.

Careful not to overcook the lasagne (Yes. It is possible!) – overcooked lasagne will result in dry sauce and hard pasta sheets.

Instead of lamb you can use pork or veal.

Instead of passata, you can use another can of chopped tomatoes.

Taste every stage on the way and salt it to flavour. Giving every layer of the dish it’s perfect flavour will bring them all together to create a flavourful dish.


It’s that easy, Enjoy!