The best lasagne recipe

Nothing says comfort food quite like a hot cheese-laden lasagne, and here's how to make one...

As with most hearty, homemade meals, simplicity is key – and, Bay adds, “To make the most amazing lasagne you need to have good quality ingredients.”

Serves 4

Ready in 

Ingredients 

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
30g butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
150g pancetta, cubed
200g minced (ground) beef
200g minced (ground) pork
200ml red wine
1 1/2 tbsp tomato purée (paste)
200ml beef stock (or use stock cube)
100ml full-fat milk

Method

1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan, add the onion, celery, carrot and pancetta and sweat on a gentle heat for about 10 minutes, until the onion has softened.

2. Add the meat and brown all over. Increase the heat, add the wine and allow to evaporate. Dilute the tomato purée in a little of the stock and stir into the meat. Reduce the heat to low, then cover with a lid and cook on a gentle heat for two hours, checking and adding a little extra stock from time to time to prevent the sauce from drying out.

3. About 10 minutes before the end of cooking time, stir in the milk.

Béchamel sauce ingredients:

40g butter
40g plain flour
500ml milk
Nutmeg (optional)
Salt and pepper

Method

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan, remove from the heat and whisk in the flour very quickly to avoid lumps, then gradually add the milk, whisking well.

2. Return to the heat and cook on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, whisking all the time until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Building the lasagne

Grease an ovenproof dish (ideally 20x25cm in size) with some butter and spread a little of the béchamel sauce on the bottom of it. Add a layer of shop-bought lasagne sheets, followed by some of the bolognese sauce, a little more béchamel, followed by grated Parmigiano (parmesan) cheese. Repeat until all the ingredients have been used. The final layer should be béchamel sauce and plenty of cheese to achieve a wonderful crispy top when it’s cooked.

Place in a preheated oven 200C/gas mark 6.

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