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Cooking time

Prep: 45 minutes Cook: 2 hours

Skill level

More effort


Serves 6

A bit of a commitment goes into making this classic but it's sooo worth it

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  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 4 mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 4 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup red wine (the heavier the better)
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 1 tbs Vegemite or Marmite
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 400g beef mince
  • 400g pork mince
  • 250g aged cheddar, grated
  • 100g parmesan, grated
  • 400g pasta sheets (fresh or dried)

Bechamel sauce

  • 3 cups milk
  • 75g butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • A sprinkling of nutmeg
  • 100g aged cheddar, grated


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 20cm x 30cm baking dish. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for a few minutes until adding the carrot, celery and mushroom stirring well. Add garlic and tomato paste, cooking for a further five minutes stirring constantly so nothing burns.

  2. Add the mince meat, stirring until browned through. Finally, add the red wine, tomatoes, beef stock cubes, Vegemite and bay leaves. Fill one of the empty tomato tins with water and pour this in as well. Stir through and season to taste. Leave to simmer for at least one hour.

  3. To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a saucepan over a low to medium heat. Add the flour and whisk constantly for one minute to cook the flour. Gradually add the milk, whisking to ensure a smooth consistency. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Add the cheese, stirring thoroughly.

  4. To assemble, line the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of pasta. Add a thin layer of meat followed by a thin layer of béchamel. Add another layer of pasta and repeat until all the meat is used up but ensure there is enough béchamel for the top layer. Top with cheese and bake in the oven for half an hour or until the top is golden and bubbling.

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