Lasagna is an Italian classic, a family favourite, and a crowd-pleaser. It can take a bit of planning ahead for a weeknight dinner, but it doesn’t take much skill and is totally worth the effort.
Ingredients (serves 6)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
500g beef mince
2x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2-3 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp parsley
2 tbsp thyme
2 bay leaves
125ml red wine (optional)
100g unsalted butter
1/2 cup plain flour
4 cups whole milk
6 Lasagna sheets (dried or fresh)
3 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
Salt & pepper
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and fry for 10 mins or until browned and soft. Remove from the pan and if you prefer a finer texture – blend the mixture at this stage, or set aside.
- Increase the heat to medium-high, add the beef mince, and cook stirring for 3-4 mins until the meat is browned. Add the cooked/blended vegetables, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, stock, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and red wine (optional). Stir well to combine.
- Bring to the boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, and cover with a lid. Cook for 1 hr stirring regularly, until you have a rich and creamy sauce. Remove bay leaves and season to taste.
- In the meantime, make the bechamel sauce. Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add flour and whisk while cooking for 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Simmer for 5 minutes while whisking. Add a pinch of nutmeg and season to taste. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly while mixing occasionally.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. To assemble, in a large baking tray, spread a layer of Bolognese sauce, top with lasagne pasta, a layer of bechamel sauce, followed by grated cheese. Repeat until you have used up all the ingredients, or reached the top of your tray. Finish with bechamel sauce and cheese.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and crispy and the edges are bubbling. Remove from oven and set aside for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Bolognese sauce can be made ahead of time. The Lasagna can also be assembled and stored covered in the fridge. When ready to serve, simply bake (uncovered)