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(76 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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    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



      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 leaves
    • 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

    For the lasagne

    • 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 white sauce (béchamel)

    • 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 leaves
    • 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



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


    1. First infuse the milk to make 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. To finish the béchamel sauce, 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.

    6. 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.

    7. 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.

    8. 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, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    7th Feb, 2016
    Gorgeous lasagne. I followed the recipe and quantities to the letter and it turned out fantastic! My friends said it was the best lasagne they'd ever had! As others have said, I did simmer the meat uncovered for around 1 hour 40 mins (instead of the recommended 1 hour) to reduce the liquid a bit more. Everything else in the recipe is spot on and the best thing is, I did the full recipe and there were 4 of us for dinner, so I have leftovers :)
    5th Jan, 2016
    Best lasagne Ive ever made! If you have a bit of extra time, definitely go with this recipe. Its absolutely delicious.
    17th Nov, 2015
    Best lasagna I've ever made....but did add extras In the ragu added tomato puree, olives, sundried tomatoes, basil n oregano, mushrooms and half beef mince half braising steak. Cooked on low uncovered for 3 hours and left covered until I needed it then reheated uncovered. Result a tasty thick ragu. In my layers added mozzarella, cheddar, parmasan, chopped ham and beaten egg. White sauce was just right only small amount left. Top w ith loads of cheese and mozzarella Cooked for 1 hr and left out to cool and absorb any juice just covered with foil outside oven. Delicious and huge!, served with greek salad and flatbread
    1st Nov, 2015
    Great recipe! I browned the meat a little bit before adding the milk and tomatoes. Except for that I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfectly! Really great flavour, definitely worth all the effort.
    18th Oct, 2015
    This is so nice, was a big hit with the family. Agree with some of the other comments about the amount of liquid. I used all of the liquid stated for the meat. I simmered for an hour covered but then had to keep the pan at a rolling boil for the next 40 minutes to reduce the liquid down. Next time I think I will reduce to 100ml milk and 350ml wine. I also browned the mince before adding the liquid. For the bechamel; I used all of the milk stated when I did the initial infusion, but when adding back into the roux later, it seemed like way too much so I didn't put it all back in. I put about 1200ml back in and even then was quite thin and took a bit of time to thicken up. I'd use closer to a litre next time I reckon. That said, it tasted amazing! Definitely will be cooking again - next time I won't forget the garlic. I also used cheddar instead of parmesan and only put it on the top, not the individual layers.
    16th Sep, 2015
    Delishous recipe! I found that there was a bit too much liquid with all the tomatoes, milk, wine etc. Therefore I spooned some out before assembling the lasagne so that it wasn't too sloppy. Worked perfectly.
    5th Sep, 2015
    This is the best lasagne recipe I have come across. It is also easy to adapt for my dairy intolerant son. The bolognese is wonderful for other recipes; I keep a large batch in the freezer for quick dinners.
    14th Jun, 2015
    Great recipe. Easy to follow and tasted amazing. My youngest demolished it and he doesn't usually eat anything!
    23rd Mar, 2015
    Worth the time, and not really too much effort for a stunning result. There are things you just cant rush and this is one. This recipe, with great depth of flavour, sets its self apart from all the 'quick and easy' versions which are nothing more than bland cooked mince and tomato.
    16th Mar, 2015
    I followed the recipe without omitting any of the ingredients or steps. My ragu simmered for an hour with the lid on and an hour without, what I was left with was a beautiful ragu that was not watery at all or soggy as some have experienced. I added a couple of dry red chillis to it before simmering for a little warmth in flavour. It turned out beautifully with lots of good flavour and a sumptuous lasagna.


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