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(67 ratings)

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


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

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal794
  • fat38g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs63g
  • sugars16g
  • fibre4g
  • protein48g
  • salt2.74g
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  • 3 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 1 onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 carrot (about 100g/4oz) finely chopped



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 140g pack cubetti di pancetta



    Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…

  • 500g pack beef mince (we used 10% fat)



    The classic cut of meat for a British Sunday roast, beef is full of flavour, as well as being a…

  • 500g pack pork mince or British veal mince
  • 200ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 rosemary sprig



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • 2 thyme sprigs


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 2 tsp dried oregano



    Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…

  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 500ml red wine
  • about 400g dried pasta sheets



    Pasta is the Italian name for Italy's version of a basic foodstuff which is made in many…

  • 50g Parmesan, finely grated



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

For the bechamel sauce

  • 1½ l milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 1 onion, thickly sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 3 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves



    The dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a wide variety…

  • 100g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 100g plain flour
  • good grating of nutmeg


  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.

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Comments (74)

rhondda1's picture

Made many lasagne dishes in the past but this was the best. Followed the recipe to the letter and made if for a Boxing Day family gathering. Enjoyed by everyone - i will always make this lasagne recipe.

mairhoney's picture

I have to admit myself disappointed with this recipe. As so many people has raved about it I thought I'd give it a try. Firstly there's a distinct lack of cheese, I prefer a nice cheesy sauce. I found the wine in this quantity overpowering. This seemed to make the addition of any herbs a waste as they were indistinct under the flavor of the wine. As the recipe takes a good 3 hours to make I was hoping for so much more. I'll be sticking to my much simpler but more tasty version from now on.

motherinferior's picture

I can't praise this highly enough - it's worth all the effort. Most lasagne recipes suffer from being too heavy on tomatoes and oregano but this one is beautifully balanced with real depth of flavour. It's one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted and certainly the best lasagne I've ever had. My boyfriend, who's eaten many lasagnes in Italy, agrees. We ate it with Waitrose Essentials tear and share Cheese and Onion garlic bread which went very well and added a nice bit of crunch.

nuriap's picture

I have now made this a few times and has turned out well each time.

meerkat80's picture

Best recipe I've found so far. Very hard work but well worth the effort. I prepared lots of the meat sauce days before and froze (added extra tomato paste and a pinch of sugar to make it even tastier)so I only needed to make the bechamel sauce on the day. I'll try to add some ham next time but I dont think it will make much difference.

marzipanfeind's picture

Great classic recipe. One of the things I made to stock up the freezer before my baby was born. It made enough for 4 foil trays, each with two generous servings...just cook and add salad! Eating the third one tonight to celebrate baby marzipan fiend's 4 week birthday.

menapian's picture

Fricking awesome..

lizleicester's picture

Lovely. Made it over 2 days - infused milk overnight and made the bolognaise sauce so the day we ate it, I only needed to assemble it and bake, otherwise it wouldn't have been ready till bedtime!

hifigary's picture

superb - the only lasagne I will make

irenemorrill's picture

Fantastic!! My husband is allergic to carrots and doesn't like celery much so I finely chopped a red pepper instead. It's a long recipe but certainly worth the effort!!!
Large lasagne dish necessary in answer to the question above!!

rjolly's picture

Best lasagne i've ever made

carlacc2000's picture

YUMMY, got to be one of the best lasagne recipes i've tasted. Requires more effort than most but really is worth it. Recieved compliments all round and will definately become one of my most trusted recipes

lizzieanderson86's picture

I have the same question as elliottramber :What size dish is 3.5 litre baking dish??

elliottrambler's picture

What size of dish do you need for this recipe?

220972's picture

Made this for the family, they all enjoyed it ! I used to packs of mince rather than half beef half pork. Still tasted great would make again

blackbird17's picture

Best lasagne I have ever made. I'd rather eat a lasagne cooked like this than a quick version.

mich1968's picture

I was curious to try this recipe because the bechamel seemed very interesting.In fact it was thumbs up all round from my 2 sons and hubby (all Italian).The verdict was "it's abit different,but very good".
Finally a recipe for a ragu sauce that takes at least 2 hours to cook, ideal for the meat to absorb all the flavours.A fantastic sauce to make, freeze and keep on standby for a good "spag bol"!
Well done Good Food!

kiwihomechef's picture

The best, most tastiest lasagne recipe ever! Will make again and again.

same965's picture

Lots of work but this lasagne worths it. I made only half portion and it will be more than enough for two.


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