Lasagne in a dish with slice out

Lasagne

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(100 ratings)

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

Easy

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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Ingredients

    For the meat sauce

    • 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
      Celery

      Celery

      sell-er-ee

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

    • 1 onion, finely chopped
      Onion

      Onion

      un-yun

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

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

      Carrot

      ka-rot

      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

      Pancetta

      pan-chet-ah

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

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

      Beef

      bee-f

      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

      Milk

      mill-k

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

    • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
      Tomato

      Tomato

      toe-mart-oh

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

    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 rosemary sprig
      Rosemary

      Rosemary

      rose-mar-ee

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

    • 2 thyme sprigs

      Thyme

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

    • 2 tsp dried oregano
      Oregano

      Oregano

      or-ee-gar-no

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

    • 2 beef stock cubes
    • 500ml red wine

    For the lasagne

    • about 400g dried pasta sheets
      Pasta

      Pasta

      pah-stah

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

    • 50g parmesan, finely grated
      Parmesan

      Parmesan

      parm-ee-zan

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

    For the white sauce (béchamel)

    • 1½ l milk

      Milk

      mill-k

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

    • 1 onion, thickly sliced
      Onion

      Onion

      un-yun

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

    • 3 bay leaves
    • 3 cloves
      Cloves

      Clove

      klo-ve

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

    • 100g butter
      Butter

      Butter

      butt-err

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

    • 100g plain flour
    • good grating of nutmeg
      Nutmeg

      Nutmeg

      nut-meg

      One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

    Method

    1. First infuse the milk to make the béchamel sauce. Put the 1 ½ litres milk, 1 thickly sliced onion, 3 bay leaves and 3 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 3 tbsp oil, 2 finely chopped celery sticks, 1 finely chopped onion, 1 finely chopped carrot, 3 crushed garlic cloves and 140g cubed pancetta in another large saucepan. Gently cook together until the veg are soft but not coloured.

    3. Tip in 500g pork mince and 500g beef mince, 200ml milk and 2 cans of chopped tomatoes. Using a wooden spoon, stir together and break up and mash the lumps of mince against the sides of the pan.

    4. When the mince is mostly broken down, stir in 2 bay leaves, 1 rosemary sprig, 2 thyme sprigs, 2 tsp dried oregano, 2 beef stock cubes and 500ml red wine, and bring to a simmer.

    5. Cover and cook for 1 hr, stirring occasionally to stop the bottom catching.

    6. Uncover and gently simmer for another 30 mins-1 hr until the meat is tender and saucy. Taste and season.

    7. To finish the béchamel sauce, strain the milk through a fine sieve into one or two jugs.

    8. Melt 100g butter in the same pan then, using a wooden spoon, mix in 100g plain flour and cook for 2 mins.

    9. 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.

    10. 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.

    11. Season with salt, pepper and a good grating of nutmeg.

    12. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

    13. Spread a spoonful of the meat sauce over the base of a roughly 3.5 litre baking dish.

    14. Cover with a single layer of dried 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 of the finely grated parmesan.

    15. 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.

    16. 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, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    Kingsteven1410
    19th Jul, 2018
    Hi Sarah, I love this recipe i have cooked it many times. I am travelling to south america next week and my relatives want me to make it for their party. There is 100 Guests !! How much should i increase the ingredients by, especially the wine? Your help is much appreciated. Regards, Steve
    HayleyBroer
    20th Jul, 2018
    This recipe serves 8 so to make for 100 you would multiply each ingredient by 12.5, so for the red wine it would be about 8 bottles
    acheese
    29th Mar, 2018
    5.05
    I don’t ever cook but I thought I’d attempt to do a gluten free lasagne and this recipe was perfect. Had lots and lots left over and it really did taste lovely. Will 100% be doing this again
    Molly O'Donoghue's picture
    Molly O'Do...
    25th Mar, 2018
    I have used this recipe dozens of times, but halved the quantities because there are only two of us (there is tons left over but the other half finishes it off when I’m at work!). It has always turned out really well, it takes some time but it is easy enough. I’m a keen cook so I enjoy making it, and it is definitely worth waiting for! Today I decided to fry off the mince first before adding it in, to reduce the fat because it does sometimes go oily (only in the pan - once it’s all cooked in the oven it doesn’t taste oily at all) so I will see how that turns out. I don’t par boil the pasta at all and the consistency is always perfect but I’m sure it’d work well either way, it just depends on whether you’re willing to add an extra step! Highly recommend this recipe.
    RedCrayon
    11th Nov, 2017
    5.05
    Love this recipe, I've used it loads of times. Just one thing though: 500ml is way too much wine, you don't need it to be that heavy in taste and it adds to the amount of liquid you end up with. Those 187ml small bottles you can buy in supermarkets I find is the perfect amount (I don't like to waste drinking wine on cooking). Plus, adding some tomato paste can help with the texture and tomato-ey taste.
    p1763717
    28th May, 2017
    5.05
    Really lovely traditional lasagne. Followed the recipe, no deviations. As mentioned previously, cook slowly with patience. My picky 5 year old niece, who hates most food types, demolished 2 servings and keeps asking when I will make it again. Taste improves as time goes on. It is quite a dense meaty dish and not at all cheesy. An alternative way to serve this (for those that like cheese) is to cut a serving of lasagne and put in a separate oven proof dish. Pour over some home made ragu, top with mozzarella and bake. Similar to the lasagne you would get in an Italian restaurant.
    birgiss
    14th May, 2017
    4.05
    Tasty lasagne though very time consuming. I added some tomato puree to the meat mixture as it didn't seem tomatoey enough and also added some mature cheddar with the parmesan.
    Justglassin
    30th Mar, 2017
    1.05
    I'm sorry but I really don't understand why this recipe got so many good reviews? I usually just make lasagne with simple pasta sauce from a jar and plain bechamel sauce and it tastes waaaaaay better than this. The proportions meat sauce / bechamel sauce are way off. There is not enough tomato sauce to really taste the tomatoes. The herbs in this recipe did really not work for me and made it taste more like a Pastitsio than a Lasagne. Even a frozen lasagne tastes better than this recipe. Do yourself a favour, save some time and skip this recipe!
    Bectmumof3
    29th Mar, 2017
    5.05
    Makes lasagne worth eating, all my children enjoy it
    finleyalan
    9th Nov, 2016
    Ive never been a fan of lasagne, but this is amazing. I don't use wine, just extra stock and Cheddar instead of parmesan. My eldest son, who won't eat any veggies, devoures this every time. It's all about the cloves and the nutmeg

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    shikiraclare's picture
    shikiraclare
    23rd Jul, 2017
    5.05
    Forgot to mention - no red wine is added to my lasagne - 'burly beefy' kind of flavour only needs gravy granules and complimentary spices. Wine is a fab accompaniment to large joints of connoisseur meats, yet mince meat has most of its 'beef element' sucked out of it during factory process and why it is such a difficult one to flavour in any kind of rich tasty cuisine.
    shikiraclare's picture
    shikiraclare
    23rd Jul, 2017
    5.05
    The great thing about Lasagne is that you can 'quirk it' up so easily with almost anything and although mince beef is the basic staple ingredient (apart from pasta itself) - always bulk it with lentils and grated carrot so that you get a wholly nutritious dish as well as save a fortune on meat - you can't even taste the difference if you are a real meaty lover and follow my tips here: 6 ounces of mince beef with 12 ounces lentils will make a meal for 4 if you also add two grated carrots, chopped celery - any other vegetable going spare in your fridge. The trick to the 'meatier' tasting lasagne is to always sprinkle gravy granules in the tomato based sauce - stock alone doesn't give any kind of meat the burly beef flavour some people like in their favourite meals. Gravy granules also stops beefy sauces getting too runny and tomato puree (also not very good) as a thickening agent. Another great tip for my lasagne is to add some paprika spice and a little sweet-chilli sauce if you prefer a more tomato-exotic taste.
    Tania150
    18th Oct, 2015
    This is the base recipe for my now famous lasagne. I never measure anything and always change recipes to suit the taste and my own opinion. Having said that it may be why so many people seem to have failed with this one! Firstly, definitely brown the meat, (I only use lean beef mince) add a splash or so of red wine, let it evaporate so the meat and veg mix is really rich, then add stock and tomatoes and purée. I don't add thyme as I don't think it adds much overall. I definitely do not add milk here either, sounded really odd and I think would ruin the dish. I usually add a couple of flicks of Worcestershire sauce here too. I then leave it uncovered and stir regularly. One the sauce has thickened and reduced, take off from the heat and leave to stand for fifteen minutes as it will become a lot less sloppy if that's an issue. I generally guess the amount of milk and it usually turns out fine; I think the recipe probably has too much but just remember 'you can add but you can't take away' and you should be fine! I also let my lasagne stand for fifteen twenty minutes before serving as it helps it keep its shape and stays warm! I'm also cheeky and add cheddar and mozzarella to each layer, so not very healthy but very delicious!! :)
    shikiraclare's picture
    shikiraclare
    23rd Jul, 2017
    5.05
    Wine is a fab accompaniment to large joints of connoisseur meats, yet mince meat has most of its 'beef element' sucked out of it during factory process and why it is such a difficult one to flavour in any kind of rich tasty cuisine.