My go-to comfort food to cook at home is undoubtedly pasta and this is the lasagne recipe I can make with my eyes closed.
I prefer to use fresh pasta sheets, you can find these in the fresh pasta section next to those tortellini in clear plastic packs. For meat sauce, I do a combination of ground beef and ground pork, but of course you can definitely do this meat-free. Then I use a big can of chopped tomatoes or a tall jar of tomato passata. If you’re short on time, a prepared pasta sauce would work perfectly fine. This version is a Bechamel topped lasagne, not the mozzarella/ricotta layered one. It’s lighter and less fussy, yet still very decadent. There’s actually not much cheese in it all, just freshly grated parmasean that tops it.
Meat sauce ingredients
1 pound (500g) of ground beef
1 pound (500g) of ground pork
Seasonings (salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon dried chili, 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
1 large carrot, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 28fl oz chopped tomatoes or 720 ml passata
1 TB Worcestershire sauce
5 tablespoons salted butter
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pack of fresh lasagne sheets
Pre-heat oven to 350F.
In a large saucepan, brown the ground beef and ground pork. Season it well with salt, pepper, oregano, dried chili, and garlic powder. Once browned, drain and set aside.
Add two tablespoons of olive oil to the same pan and brown the chopped carrot, onion, and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are soft, usually about 10 minutes.
Add the browned meat back into the pan along with the cooked vegetables. Add the chopped tomatoes or passata along with the juice. Add the Worcestershire sauce, stir and bring it to a gentle simmer.
Now make the bechamel sauce (same recipe from my Croque Madame).
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until all incorporated. Now add the cream and stir. Season with salt and pepper and the ground nutmeg. Stir until thick and bubbly. You may have to turn the heat up. Now take the saucepan off the heat and set aside.
Assembly time. In a large lasagne dish, spread about 1 1/2 cups of the meat sauce on the bottom. Put one uncooked fresh lasagne sheet in the centre. They do expand, so don’t worry about going to the edges. Follow with meat sauce and keep repeating until the last layer is the remaining meat sauce. now spread the Bechamel sauce on top evenly and ensure all the pasta sheets are covered otherwise they will dry out. Finish by sprinkling the grated Parmesan on top.
Cover the lasagne dish with foil and bake at 350F for about 40 minutes. Take the foil off and It should be hot and bubbly. Put a knife in the middle to see if the temperature in the centre comes out warm on the knife. If it is, cook 10 more minutes uncovered, to get the top bubbly and a brown.
The hard part. Once you pull the lasagne out of the oven, let it sit for 15 minutes so it sets up nicely. Lasagne is served.
Let me know if you make the recipe and feel free to tag me on Instagram @wherelizis