Now here’s something I’ve been wanting to share – my own lasagne recipe. I’ve been using this for more than 10 years and it never fails to disappoint. I refuse to try any other as I am so comfortable with having perfected my own. And mum absolutely loves it!
I’ve never made lasagne with ready-made sauces so I don’t know how the taste differs. Making them may take longer than pouring out of a jar but I do know everything that goes in it is fresh and organic with no additives and preservatives.
By the way I’ve recently invested in a pasta making machine and once I get round to actually taking it out of the box (!), I hope to make my own lasagne sheets.
For the bolognese
- olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 500g lean minced beef/lamb
- 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 575g tinned chopped tomatoes
- a pinch of salt
- ½ – 1 teaspoon of chilli powder (optional)
- Lasagne sheets (dried, fresh or home-made)
- Parmesan cheese, grated
For the bechamel sauce
- 600ml milk
- 250g mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 120g flour
- 120g butter
Oven setting: Gas mark 4/180°C/350°F
- On a moderate heat, fry the garlic in olive oil in a saucepan for about 30 seconds, until it turns golden.
- Add the chopped onions and carrots, and cook for about 10 minutes until they become soft.
- Add the mince and fry until it turns brown. You could use minced chicken if you prefer which will cook quicker.
- Add the puree and chopped tomatoes, cook for a further 10 minutes and then leave to simmer for 45 minutes, occasionally stirring.
- Grease a large ovenproof dish and set aside for later.
- To make the bechamel sauce, boil the milk.
- Melt the butter in a separate saucepan and add flour to it slowly until it resembles a paste but remember to keep stirring or you’ll get lumps.
- Remove from the heat immediately, then add the boiled milk to it slowly whilst stirring quickly at the same time. This does require some coordination!
- Return to a low heat and continue to stir in order to keep it to sauce-like consistency.
- Put the cubed mozzeralla into the bechamel sauce and stir rigorously until it melts.
- If the bolognese looks dry, add a few drops of water.
- If the bechamel sauce starts to thicken, add a splash of milk. You have to judge by consistency and add little by little if and when required.
- Place some lasagne sheets on the base of the dish and pour some bolognese on top.
- Then pour the sauce and add another layer of lasagne sheets.
- Repeat the process until the sauce remains as the top layer. You should get two layers of each mixture.
- Sprinkle Parmesan on top and cook in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.