Lasagne

Lasagne

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(47 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 3 hrs, 10 mins Plus milk infusing

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 8

Little is more satisfying than cooking a classic to perfection - Sarah Cook gives us a lesson in how to make lasagne

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
794
protein
48g
carbs
63g
fat
38g
saturates
17g
fibre
4g
sugar
16g
salt
2.74g

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot (about 100g/4oz) finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 140g pack cubetti di pancetta
  • 500g pack beef mince (we used 10% fat)
  • 500g pack pork mince or British veal mince
  • 200ml milk
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 500ml red wine
  • about 400g dried pasta sheets
  • 50g parmesan, finely grated

For the bechamel sauce

  • 1½ l milk
  • 1 onion, thickly sliced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves
  • 100g butter
  • 100g plain flour
  • good grating of nutmeg

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Method

  1. First infuse the milk for the béchamel sauce. Put the milk, onion, bay and cloves into a large saucepan and bring very gently just up to the boil. Turn off the heat and set aside for 1 hr to infuse.
  2. For the meat sauce, put the oil, celery, onion, carrot, garlic and pancetta in another large saucepan. Gently cook together until the veg are soft but not coloured. Tip in all the mince, the milk and tomatoes. Using a wooden spoon, stir together and break up and mash the lumps of mince against the sides of the pan. When the mince is mostly broken down, stir in all the herbs, the stock cubes and wine, and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 1 hr, stirring occasionally to stop the bottom catching. Uncover and gently simmer for another 30 mins-1 hr until the meat is tender and saucy. Taste and season.
  3. To finish the béchamel, strain the milk through a fine sieve into one or two jugs. Melt the butter in the same pan then, using a wooden spoon, mix in the flour and cook for 2 mins. Stir in the strained milk, a little at a time – the mix will thicken at first to a doughy paste, but keep going, adding milk gradually to avoid lumps. When all the milk is in, bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly (if you have lumps, give it a quick whisk). Gently bubble for a few mins until thickened. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  4. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Spread a spoonful of the meat sauce over the base of a roughly 3.5 litre baking dish. Cover with a single layer of pasta sheets, snapping them to fit if needed, then top with a quarter of the béchamel. Spoon over a third of the meat sauce and scatter over a little Parmesan. Repeat the layers – pasta, béchamel, meat and Parmesan – two more times to use all the meat sauce. Add a final layer of pasta, the last of the béchamel and remaining Parmesan. Sit the dish on a baking tray to catch spills and bake for 1 hr until bubbling, browned and crisp on top.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, February 2011

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Comments

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arwen9747's picture
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I have done this recipe twice and it was wonderful! I just follow all the instructions and was delicious. :D

annieharris5808's picture
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Definitely won't be making this again. The meat sauce lacked flavour and was very thin even after an extra 2 hours of cooking. The end result did not look anything like the picture it fell apart and look a sloppy mess

denysefreemantle's picture
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There's no argument, lasagne is a faff to make - and this is no exception. I agree with the comments below about there being too much milk (I had to start the flour/butter process again to make it thicker). It tasted fine - but I was hoping it would taste amazing after all the effort, and for that reason alone I probably wouldn't make it again.

cshobbs's picture
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Great recipe! I increased the amount of carrots and omitted the celery. However I need to increase the amount of liquid as my gluten free lasagne was rather tough and hard. The rest was suberb. The recipe might have taken a while but there was nothing very arduous and the results were worth it.

forestnuter's picture
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The meat sauce certainly benefited from being simmered and reduced for a good amount of time. Although the wine initially made the dish rather boozy, after the sauce has been reduced it became part of the depth of flavour of the dish. Could try again. In all, quite a tasty dish

clarissaG's picture
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I made this yesterday though without the bechamel - I used a ready made white sauce as the cost of ingredients was already high without cloves, bay leaves and nutmeg which I didn't have. I did NOT put 500ml of red wine in! I reluctantly put 250ml in and to be honest, the liquid consistency was already at a worryingly watery level so it didn't need more (which suited my desire to part with it!). If I made it again, I would brown the mince, it just felt wrong when it was all floating raw in the milk. Half of the family loved it, half not (the kids) I think it was too meaty and too rich for them. The second draw back is the time it took, but I suppose good things come to those who wait! (or don't if you are my kids!)

suzieemc's picture
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I've been using Good Food recipes for many many years and this is just about the only failure that I've had. Taste was very good but the consistency was so so disappointing. The bechamel sauce didn't thicken (is it really meant to be one and a half litres of milk???) and the meat, despite being simmered for a lot longer than the recipe called for, was far too liquidy. Disappointing, particularly as it took so long to make.

abcdefghijord's picture

Try 1200ml of milk next time. I usually do 300ml to every 25g butter/flour and always comes out lovely.

aimsy123's picture
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I've made many many lasagnes in my time, some from recipes and some of my own invention. This was just the best! Definitely worth the extra effort. The meat part looks worryingly fluid for a while, but keep simmering it (I did it uncovered) and it boils down to a lovely moist mix. (I used a splash of port instead of wine though - didn't have any I wanted to "waste"). The layers held together fantastically. Lots of compliments. Will definitely be making it again. Great flavours.

vlatus's picture

Meat part really tasty even without wine (had none left!), but still too much liquid even though I used 200ml veg stock instead of milk and omitted wine (not adding extra fluid to compensate!). I didn't use the bechemel sauce recipe as I don't do wheat or dairy (made my own version of that). Also used turkey mince instead of beef/pork and omitted pancetta, and I browned the mince. 2 extra rich beef stock pots and fresh thyme, rosemary and basil, along with a splash of Tabasco Chipotle sauce gave a lovely rich flavour to the turkey mince. Will definitely revisit this one as flavourings are lovely.

smile1980's picture

I found the meat sauce too liquid but with real depth of flavour. Perhaps a bit too much wine. I only used beef as I couldn't find veal or pork mince.
Bechamel sauce was really nice and with a good texture. Used mozzarella on the top layer which worked really well. Will make again, for dinner with friends perhaps, as it is more "special" than my usual recipe - but also much more time consuming! Couldn't give it 5* though as a few tweaks necessary I think.

Char25's picture

Brilliant lasagne. Made yesterday evening for friends and it was a real winner. Great tasting meat sauce. Plenty of flavour throughout the lasagne. I will only use this recipe now.

torialovescakes's picture

I read all the mixed reviews and thought I'd give this a go as the list of ingredients made it sound like it would be packed with flavour. Unfortunately it was really disappointing. Followed the recipe to the letter but the result was sloppy and milky. In fact I think the milk played a big part in spoiling it, there was just too much. In my opinion this is just not worth the effort involved, would certainly never make again.

mandy-j-b's picture

This is the worst lasagne I have ever made. I have been making lasagne for years and my family love it. I had my whole family coming over so decided it would be worth the extra time that this lasagne took. I followed the recipe exactly and it wasn't even a close match. It was edible but definitely the worst lasagne I have made. The meat tasted soft as it had been cooked in the milk, next time I will stick to my normal recipe and brown the meat so it has some texture to it.

carodarcy's picture
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This is a terrific recipe. I fiddled with the quantities as I was making it for 10 people and I also made one or two minor adjustment, to suit my personal taste. It felt odd not to brown the meat, so I did. I also put in less red wine, but added a jar of Loyd Grossman Tomato and Basil sauce, and I left out the thyme, because I felt it might overpower the other herbs. The end result was the best lasagne I've ever made. Fairly time consuming, but not at all difficult and most definitely worth the extra trouble.

glynisbrown23's picture

Very tasty, adding milk to the meat sauce really breaks up the mince, next time I'm adding the pancetta,left out as had guests who don't eat pork

ellie1789's picture
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I halved this receipt and used just beef mince, bacon bits instead and mozzarella on top. I found the white sauce was difficult to create the right consistency and the whole receipt was quite some work. I would advise people to add more veg into it like mushrooms. There were leftovers for the next day. Wasn't a popular one in the family.

jacquisamob's picture
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I have never been a fan of lasagne but decided to make this for my husband. Now I have, I am a complete convert, it's so delicious..!
This recipe is time consuming and ingredient heavy. On the advice of another reviewer I added a good squirt of tomato puree and followed the recipe tip and added ham. Also, I only used beef mince, not beef & pork. The hardest part for me was parting with 500ml of my favourite tipple (red wine) but I concede, it was worth it....
Also, I'm not sure if I did something wrong but I seemed to have an awful lot of the bechemel sauce so I think next time I will only use 1 litre of milk.
I also used dry herbs & parmesan (my aim is to choose a recipe using what I have in my fridge/freezer cupboards without having to shop) and the outcome was amazing...!
This recipe involves 'cooking' in the proper sense and I will only ever use this recipe to make lasagne in future.

fegregory's picture
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This was worth taking my time over. All the family lapped it up and it tasted amazing.

888emma's picture
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Well worth the effort, whole family loved it.

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