Lasagne recipe

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I have only recently started to make lasagne, having been put off by years of school lasagne. But now I like to think of it as a pie made with pasta layers rather than pastry. This is my version. I am sure it is totally wonky but it tastes great and my kids love it.

  • Yield: 4 Servings hungry adults or 8 tiny children


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • ½ tsp dried thyme salt and black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 oz (150 g) chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 lb (500 g) beef mince
  • 14 oz (400 g) tin plum tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 14 oz (400 ml) beef stock
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 8 lasagne sheets, approx., prepared as directed on the packet
For the Bechamel
  • 2 oz (50 g) Butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1½ pints (800 ml) milk, plus a little extra
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2½ oz ( 75 g) Parmesan, grated
How to Make It
  1. Heat the oil and butter in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots and thyme and fry gently. Grind in plenty of black pepper. Allow everything to gently sizzle away for 10 minutes, giving it the occasional stir. Add the garlic and mushrooms and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the mince with a wooden spoon, breaking it up into largish chunks. Fry it until it has browned and any liquid in the pot has evaporated. Drop in the tomatoes, and add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée and beef stock, stirring them through. Leave it to simmer gently for 1 hour, checking from time to time to make sure it hasn’t dried out or stuck to the pot, adding more liquid if necessary. Taste and season accordingly. Once the meat mixture has simmered for an hour, remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
  3. Meanwhile, make the béchamel sauce. Melt the butter in a large pan, stir in the flour and allow it to bubble for a couple of minutes without burning. Pour in all of the milk, add the bay leaf and nutmeg and vigorously whisk the mixture until it is smooth. Let it gently bubble away for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Then set it aside until it is needed. Just before using, remove the bay leaf and add three-quarters of the Parmesan and a little extra milk if needed, heating it through gently.
  4. To assemble the lasagne, spoon a layer of the meat into a large ovenproof dish, cover with a layer of béchamel and then a layer of cooked lasagne sheets. Repeat this process, finishing with a layer of béchamel. Sprinkle the rest of the grated Parmesan on top. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. I like to serve with a fresh green salad with lots of herbs, and garlic bread.

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