Lasagne is a faff to make, there’s no denying that. But every now and again, it’s worth making the effort. And if you have the time, my mum’s lasagne recipe will blow every other one you’ve tried right out of the water.
Ingredients (serves 6)
For the ragu:
- 500g pork mince
- 500g beef mince
- x1 beef oxo cube
- 1 tbsp oregano or thyme
- Salt & Pepper
- Olive oil
- 3 fat garlic cloves
- x1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1/2 bottle red wine
For the bechamel:
These are approximate measurements, mum does this by sight so I’ve used a little guesswork!
- 60g salted butter
- 60g plain flour
- 600 ml (1 pint) semi-skimmed milk
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
For the top:
A small handful of mixed grated parmesan, mozzarella and cheddar.
- Brown the mince and crushed garlic with a dash of olive oil in a deep frying pan or wide saucepan.
- Sprinkle an oxo cube, herbs and season the mince before adding the tinned tomatoes and a glug of red wine. Leave to simmer for at least 15 minutes before adding the rest of the wine.
- Simmer for as long as you like on a low heat – the longer the better and up to 2 hours is fine!
- Once the ragu is rich and the wine has reduced, add a tbsp tomato puree, check the seasoning and if needed, add a splash of water.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat and add stir in the flour, making sure its properly bound. Remove from the heat and slowly pour in the milk, stirring or whisking constantly.
- Put back on the heat and bring to a gentle boil, making sure you’re still whisking to avoid any lumps. This is important as you need to make sure the flour is cooked through.
- Return the pan to the heat and simmer gently for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with white pepper.
Ragu –> Lasagne sheets –> Bechamel –> Mozerella –> Repeat.
Mum’s lasagne layering technique is slightly different from the norm. Each time you add a layer of bechamel, sprinkle it with mozzarella before moving on to the next. The resulting dish is less pasta, more filling and plenty of cheese! On the final layer, top with a mix of grated Mozerella, cheddar and parmesan for a brown and crispy top.
On this occasion, we ate mum’s lasagne with a big green salad (leaves, cucumber, spring onion & avocado). Of course, if you’re feeling extra greedy, you could also have garlic bread on the side to mop up all the sauce!
Mum taught me to cook and is my inspiration when it comes to good, homemade meals. Take a look at her chilli recipe here and favourite way to eat pineapple too. I think we should give her a regular slot, what do you think?