- 250g mozzarella, drained and grated
- 18-20 no cook lasagne sheets
- 85g block Parmesan, grated
Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…
For the meat sauce
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 4 onions, finely chopped
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 8 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
- 2 bay leaves
- 1kg minced beef
- 4 x 400g/14oz cans chopped tomatoes
- 4 tbsp ketchup
- small glass red wine (optional)
For the white sauce
- 200g butter
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 140g flour
Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…
- 1.7l milk
One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…
- few gratings nutmeg
One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury…
Make the meat sauce: heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently cook the onions for 10 mins until golden. Add the garlic, herbs and bay, then cook 2 mins more. Heat a large frying pan. Crumble in a quarter of the beef, cook until brown, then add to the onions. Continue to fry the beef in batches and add to the onions until all the meat is used up. Tip the tomatoes and ketchup in with the onions and beef. Rinse the cans out with the red wine, if you have some, or with a little water, then add to the pan. Season and bring to a simmer. Gently cook for 30 mins until thick and saucy, then set aside.
Meanwhile, make the white sauce. Tip everything into a pan, season, then bring to a simmer, whisking continuously. Don’t worry if it’s lumpy – if you whisk enough the sauce will come together. Simmer for 5 mins, whisking, until smooth and thickened, then remove from the heat. If not using straight away, cover with cling film and set aside.
Make sure you divide everything up so that you can make two lasagnes. Place a thin layer of meat sauce in an ovenproof baking dish, drizzle with a little white sauce and scatter with a little mozzarella. Cover with a layer of lasagne sheets, then top with more of both sauces, more mozzarella and more lasagne sheets. Repeat once more, then cover the top layer of lasagne in just white sauce. Finally scatter over some Parmesan. The lasagnes can now be chilled in the fridge for a day ready to be cooked, or frozen for up to 3 months – see tips, below.
To cook, heat oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6. Cook for 35-40 mins until brown on the top and crisp around the edges. Leave to settle for 10 mins before cutting into squares and serving with a green salad and some garlic bread, if you like.
Freezing tips: sauceYou can make just the meat sauce and freeze it in bags. This versatile sauce can be used for Spaghetti Bolognese, as a base for Shepherd’s pie or as a topping for baked potatoes.
Freezing tips: freezing whole lasagneSimply cover the lasagne tightly with cling film and freeze sitting flat with nothing resting on top of it. For best results, allow to defrost for a day in the fridge, then cook as stated. Or, to cook from frozen, heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Remove the cling film, cover with foil and cook for 2 hrs. Remove the foil, increase the heat to 200C/180C fan/gas 6, then cook for 40 mins more until brown and crisp around the edges.
Adding more veg1. When you fry the onions, add finely chopped carrot, celery, courgette, leek, sliced mushroom or chopped pepper. 2. Wilt some fresh spinach, squeeze out the water well with your hands, chop it, then scatter though the layers of sauce. 3. Scatter cherry tomatoes throughout the lasagne as you assemble.