Lasagne is that Italian meat dish with stacked layers of rich bolognese sauce, pasta sheets and creamy white sauce. It’s sort of like a savoury layered cake – and just as comforting.
It’s a marriage of some of the most flavoursome and simplest ingredients which transforms it into being among the best-loved meals internationally. No matter whether it’s summer or winter, it has to be the epitome of go-to soul food.
Although this dish is somewhat time consuming, it’s actually so easy to make.
The rich savoury taste of the meat sauce that has slowly bubbled away on the stove, mixed with the soft pasta layer and creamy white sauce is so beguiling and satisfying.
This is food that just feels right when you eat it, giving you a sense of contentment and wellbeing. It’s easy to eat at any time and, paired with a nice green salad, who could resist?
- 3 Tablespoons cooking oil
- 750g beef or lamb mince
- 125g Streaky bacon finely chopped
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 carrot coarsely grated
- 2 stalks celery finely chopped
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 160g tomato paste
- 1 cup white or red wine according to your taste
- 1 cup chicken or beef stock
- 1 each oregano and basil
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 250g dry lasagne sheets
- 100g butter
- ½ cup flour
- 1 litre (4 cups) milk
- ½ cup grated mature cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup grated mature cheddar cheese for the topping
- Preparing the Lasagne
- Add mince and brown, breaking it up with a fork until crumbly
- Add tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, stock, herbs, bay leaves and seasoning
- Simmer on low for 1 hour adding water if the mixture looks too dry
- Set aside as you make the white sauce White Sauce and finishing
- In another saucepan make the white sauce by melting butter
- Stir in the flour for a minute
- Gradually stir in the milk until the mixture is smooth and thickened
- Season to taste
- Add cheese and stir until melted
- To put the meal together
- Combine meat sauce, white sauce and lasagne sheets
- In an ovenproof dish, layer meat sauce, lasagne sheets, white sauce, lasagne sheets (Try not to overlap lasagne sheets)
- Continue in this fashion ending with a thick layer of white sauce
- Sprinkle with cheese (and a sprinkle of paprika if you wish)
- Preheat oven to 180 deg C
- Leave to stand 30 – 40 minutes before baking in a heated 180 deg C oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top
- Keep in a warmer drawer for 10 – 15 minutes before serving
Cut down on standing and cooking time by using fresh lasagna sheets and don’t make the layers too thick.
This lasagne reheats and freezes well, so it can be made in advance for a spectacular last-minute meal.