For the ragu
4 tbsp sunflower or olive oil
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
Sprig of rosemary or 1 tbsp oregano
2 bay leaves
4 rashers smoked bacon or pancetta, diced
650g beef mince
300g pork mince
200ml red wine (optional)
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
200ml beef stock or water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the béchamel sauce
75g plain flour
1 litre whole or semi skimmed milk
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
For the lasagne
14 sheets dried lasagne pasta
3 to 4 tbs grated pecorino or parmesan (optional)
1. Heat the sunflower oil and add the celery, carrots, onion and garlic, Sauté for 5 minutes until slightly softened.
2. Add the bacon or pancetta and herbs, sauté for a further 2 or 3 minutes.
3. Now add the minced meat, breaking up gently with a wooden spoon until thoroughly separated.
4. Add the wine (if using) and gently simmer, stirring from time to time until the wine has been absorbed and evaporated.
5. Add the tinned tomatoes, stock and salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer.
6. Place a lid on the pan and cook gently for up to 2 ½ hours, stirring regularly to prevent it from sticking.
7. Whilst this is cooking, make the white (béchamel) sauce.
8. Gently melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and mix together with a wooden spoon. Cook this roux by beating for about 3 minutes (ensure it does not colour).
9. Gradually add the milk to this mixture, beating each addition in well, and bring the roux to a simmer before adding more milk. Once all milk added, turn off the heat, season, taste and adjust as necessary.
10. To assemble the lasagne, place just under ½ the white sauce in the bottom of your lasagne dish, place a layer of lasagne sheets on top of the sauce, then pour in the ragu,top with lasagne sheets and the remainder of the white sauce. Sprinkle the parmesan on the top if using.
11. Place in a preheated medium oven for 30 – 40 minutes.
- You can make the ragu mix up to 3 days before you need it and keep it chilled – you can freeze the ragu or freeze the entire lasagne prior to placing in the oven.
- To give the ragu a delicious extra dimension, place a piece of parmesan rind in the mixture at the time you add the tomatoes. Remember to remove this before serving.
- You can also convert the ragu part of this recipe to a bolognese sauce, add more tinned tomatoes, red wine, stock or water if you want the sauce to be more runny.
Delicious with a green salad and garlic bread.