Next level lasagne served in a casserole dish

Next level lasagne

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(8 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 3 hrs

More effort

Serves 6-8

Forget microwave ready-meal versions and make a homemade lasagne properly: with good ingredients, it becomes the ultimate make-ahead, comfort food crowd-pleaser

Nutrition and extra info

  • The meat sauce can be frozen for up to three months.

Nutrition: Per serving (8)

  • kcal679
  • fat33g
  • saturates18g
  • carbs42g
  • sugars12g
  • fibre4g
  • protein41g
  • salt1.3g
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  • 250g dried egg lasagne sheets
  • 120g mozzarella
  • olive oil for the dish
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

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

For the meat sauce

  • 1 tbsp butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 100g cubed, smoked pancetta or bacon lardons



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

  • 1 onion, finely chopped



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

  • 2 carrots, chopped into small chunks



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

  • 800g braising beef, such as shin, chopped into small chunks, or good-quality mince
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried oregano



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

  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 500ml red wine
  • 680g jar passata

For the mushroom & parmesan sauce

  • 800ml whole milk
  • 30g pack dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 50g butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 50g plain flour
  • parmesan rind, if you have any



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

  • 2 tbsp mascarpone
  • 100g parmesan, finely grated



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

  • nutmeg, grated



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


  1. Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. For the meat sauce, heat the butter in a large casserole dish. Scatter in the pancetta and sizzle gently for 5 mins until just starting to brown, then add the onion and carrot and soften in the pancetta fat for a few mins. Stir in the meat. At first it will look as if it’s just steaming, but persevere and the juices will evaporate and the meat will sizzle and start to brown – this will take around 15 mins. When the beef is brown, add the garlic, bay leaf, oregano and some pepper and cook for 5 mins, then add the ketchup and cook to a paste. Season, pour over the wine and the passata, give everything a stir, bring to a simmer, then cover and place in the oven for 2 hrs, stirring occasionally until the meat is really tender. The sauce can be prepared up to three days ahead or frozen for three months.

  2. For the white sauce, pour the milk into a saucepan with the dried mushrooms, bring to the boil, then turn off the heat and leave the mushrooms to soak for 20 mins. Drain the mushrooms over a bowl, pressing down to release all the milk. Reserve the milk, roughly chop the mushrooms and set aside. Heat two-thirds of the butter in a large, shallow pan until it starts to turn a nutty brown. Add the mushrooms and a bay leaf, and sizzle for a few mins. Scatter the flour over the mushrooms and cook until it’s a sticky paste. Gradually add the milk, stirring between each addition, until you have a thick sauce. Add the parmesan rinds if you have them, then simmer for 10 mins, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, lift out the bay leaf and any rinds, then stir in the mascarpone and a third of the parmesan. Season with salt, pepper and grate in some nutmeg.

  3. Rub oil onto the base and sides of a large ceramic baking dish. Put a layer of lasagne sheets on the base, then a layer of the meat sauce, followed by a drizzle of mushroom sauce, and then tear and scatter over the mozzarella. Repeat until you have used all the pasta and meat sauce and top with a final layer of pasta. Finish with a thick layer of mushroom sauce and sprinkle with a layer of parmesan, reserving a handful. Scatter the remaining parmesan over a non-stick baking sheet or a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.

  4. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Bake the lasagne in the oven for 40-45 mins or until bubbling and golden brown. For the last 15 mins, put the parmesan tray in the oven on a higher shelf and cook until brown and crisp. Remove both from the oven and leave for 10 mins. Cut the lasagne into squares and let it sit for another 10 mins before serving to keep the layers defined and help it cool. Break the crispy parmesan into shards and serve in a side dish to scatter over the lasagne.

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Comments, questions and tips

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30th Oct, 2019
A good recipe, but the mushroom flavour is too strong and takes it away from a traditional lasagne taste for me, I much prefer a more classic white sauce.
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