How to make lasagne

Comfort is baked cheese. I don’t care what form it needs to take, but if you have some crispy, golden baked cheese over the back of something, you will be comforted. Throw some pasta and bolognese sauce with a little white sauce into the mix and you will be in comfort PLUS. Put your soft pants on before you start to eat this lasagne because you won’t be able to stop at just one piece.

A lasagne is basically just spal bol with different pasta. And some cheese. Oh and white sauce. OK, so it’s nothing like spag bol, but you do use bolognese sauce in it. If you know how to make bolognese, then you can do this. You just can.

Lasagne

500 grams mince meat
1 brown onion diced
2 cloves garlic crushed
Olive oil
Tomato paste
Tinned tomatoes
Dash of red wine
Lasagne sheets (fresh or dried – I usually just use dried)
Mozzarella cheese

White sauce
125 grams (half a stick) butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
Milk

Now my bolognese sauce is bog standard. It doesn’t have hidden goodness in it, no carrots or mushrooms or anything healthy in it. It’s meat. Onion. Sauce. And it’s good. My all means if you fancy some carrot or othr veggies in yours, then knock yourself out. Kids won’t see that shit hidden in a bolognese sauce so do it if you can. For me I just don’t fancy carrot in my sauce, so I don’t add it in. Simple!

Dice your onion, crush your garlic and fry them off in a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. You want to just cook it until the onion is translucent, without any real colour on it – say for 2 minutes.

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Then add in your mince and brown it off until you can’t see any pink colour left.

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Throw in a good splash of red wine, and pour yourself a glass to drink at the same time. It helps with the cooking. Once you can’t smell that alcohol anymore add in a small tub of tomato paste, then the tin of tomatoes. Season with salt & pepper. That’s the sauce done – just let it to simmer for a while as you get onto the white sauce.

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White Sauce

I can’t believe that this is even available as a packet option. Promise me you will never buy that shit, it’s not white sauce. It’s packet weird sauce. White sauce is just a bechamel – FANCY FRENCH WORD FOR WHITE SAUCE. It binds the pasta to the bolognese in some kind of magical, cheesy way. It’s like bacon, it just makes things better, don’t question it.

To make the sauce you need to start by combining butter and flour which is another fancy french word called a ROUX. Add that half a stick of butter into a saucepan.

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Wait for it to melt and start to bubble and then add in your 2 tablespoons of flour.

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Using a whisk, stir this until combined and then keep stirring it over the heat so that the flour cooks off a little. You want to do this for a few minutes before adding in the milk, a bit here, then stir, wit for it to thicken and then a bit more. Or, like me, add in as much milk as you think you will need, then keep stirring. It will eventually thicken and then start to bubble – once it has done this, take it off the heat and set aside. YOU MADE WHITE SAUCE.

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Construction

Now it’s construction time. Get yourself a lasagne dish in front of you. Get your bolognese saucepan, and your white sauce saucepan and your mozzarella cheese.

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Now you cn add in other stuff if you like – how about some char grilled eggplant? Or zucchini? If I want it to get eaten in my house I sure as shit better not be messing around with that stuff though. Meat. Sauce. Pasta. Cheese.

In the bottom of the dish add in a layer of bolognese. Spoon in a good few and then spread it around with your spoon.

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Then spoon on some white sauce. It doesn’t matter if it’s too thick, or too thin, just pour some on, or if it’s thicker then add then dabs on it on.

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Then add on the pasta sheets until it’s all covered. Do the same again.

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Bolognese.
White Sauce.
Pasta.

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Until you are at the top where the final layer is just bolognese and white sauce – then you go crazy with the mozarella. You can add in some basil leaves on top if you want to be fancy.

Cover it loosely with foil (if it’s too tight the cheese will stick to it and it will be ruined and you will have a sad face which is not fair given all the hard work you have put in). Cook for 20 mins covered at 180 degrees, then take that foil off and wait for it to go crispy and golden like.

My favouite bit is now you get to wash up all those dishes now. And while it’s a bit of a pain in the arse that you have to keep working, if you wash them up now it’s done by the time the lasagne is ready and you have no washing up to do after that – except for that dish that can just soak in the sink overnight.

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Let it cool down, check you have your soft pants on and demolish. Dead set, I have been making this for years. It costs nothing, takes a little bit of time but everyone will be stoked at how delicious it is…and the fact that it’s home made. If you ever have to make someone a meal to drop off at their house – new baby, death in the family, just being a nice person – THIS is it.

Lasagne

Serves 6-8
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable

Ingredients

  • 500g mince meat (You can use beef or pork or veal or a little of all)
  • 1 brown onion (finely diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • Olive oil (for frying the onions)
  • 1 tube tomato paste
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1 jar tomato passata
  • 1 dash red wine
  • 1 packet dried lasagne sheets
  • Mozzarella cheese (for the top)

white sauce

  • 125g butter
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2-3 cups milk

Directions

Step 1
Dice your onion, crush your garlic and fry them off in a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. You want to just cook it until the onion is translucent, without any real colour on it - say for 2 minutes.
Step 2
Then add in your mince and brown it off until you can’t see any pink colour left.
Step 3
Throw in a good splash of red wine, and pour yourself a glass to drink at the same time. It helps with the cooking. Once you can’t smell that alcohol anymore add in a small tub of tomato paste, then the tin of tomatoes. Season with salt & pepper. That’s the sauce done - just let it to simmer for a while as you get onto the white sauce.
White sauce
Step 4
To make the sauce you need to start by combining butter and flour which is another fancy french word called a ROUX. Add that half a stick of butter into a saucepan.
Step 5
Wait for it to melt and start to bubble and then add in your 2 tablespoons of flour.
Step 6
Using a whisk, stir this until combined and then keep stirring it over the heat so that the flour cooks off a little. You want to do this for a few minutes before adding in the milk, a bit here, then stir, wit for it to thicken and then a bit more. Or, like me, add in as much milk as you think you will need, then keep stirring. It will eventually thicken and then start to bubble - once it has done this, take it off the heat and set aside. YOU MADE WHITE SAUCE.
Construction
Step 7
Now it’s construction time. Get yourself a lasagne dish in front of you. Get your bolognese saucepan, and your white sauce saucepan and your mozzarella cheese.
Step 8
In the bottom of the dish add in a layer of bolognese. Spoon in a good few and then spread it around with your spoon.
Step 9
Then spoon on some white sauce. It doesn’t matter if it’s too thick, or too thin, just pour some on, or if it’s thicker then add then dabs on it on.
Step 10
Then add on the pasta sheets until it’s all covered. Do the same again.
Step 11
Bolognese.
White Sauce.
Pasta.
Until you are at the top where the final layer is just bolognese and white sauce - then you go crazy with the mozarella. You can add in some basil leaves on top if you want to be fancy.
Step 12
Cover it loosely with foil (if it’s too tight the cheese will stick to it and it will be ruined and you will have a sad face which is not fair given all the hard work you have put in). Cook for 20 mins covered at 180 degrees, then take that foil off and wait for it to go crispy and golden like.

Do you roll out the odd lasagne?
It’s worth the effort right?

Comments

  1. I use chicken mince because I don’t eat red meat but I make it basically the same way as you do. I put a teaspoon of sugar in my sauce, along with salt and pepper.

    To stop the foil sticking to the cheese, I put a layer of baking paper under the foil. Foolproof!

  2. Fiona Guglielmi says

    That is almost my my recipe but instead of white sauce I make a cheese sauce… Yummy

  3. I make our traditional family receipe, with a tub of cottage cheese in the sauce then make my white sauce from good quality ricotta, parmasen cheese and cream it’s beautiful, and I make it when I have heaps if people to feed.

  4. I’m totally with you Beth. I love to roll a laz on a Sunday afternoon and either freeze it or keep for a weeknight when I don’t have time to cook. Only difference is I hide 6 or 7 different vegetables in the meat sauce. Kids have no idea, I put them in the food processor and it make it all go further. End up with two laz’s for two dinners.

  5. I have 20 kids coming for a 5th birthday party on sunday so I think I might whip this baby up on Saturday so I’ve got tea ready coz I know I’ll have some tired kids (and parents) come Sunday arvo!!

  6. Looks yum! I also spray my foil with a little of that spray cooking oil and it stops it from sticking as well. So fancy… Hahahah

  7. I’m ashamed to admit that in my 37 years, I have never made lasagne!! I’ve always thought it was too hard, and no-one told me it wasn’t. You’re a good peep Beth, doing the job my mother should have! ( whats up with that mumsy????) This looks easy peasy. I’m adding to next weeks menu.

  8. Looks delicious Beth!

  9. I do meat pasta white sauce, meat pasta white sauce cheese.

  10. Linda Jenkins says

    Beth can you please define a stick of butter ? If I muck up the white sauce +/- cheese it is annoying!

  11. Linda Jenkins says

    oops – just re read the recipe !

  12. We add a little layer of sweet potatoe mash to ours – it gives it a little sum-thing sum-think

  13. My tip is lots of layers!!!
    Use small amounts of your sauce (I use one and a bit soup ladle per layer), this means that it may be almost 10 layers of pasta, but trust me, it will be extremely good!!

  14. Best advice I’ve ever got for Lasangna is to make it the night before, cook, cool and then reheat the next night. Keeps it’s shape better and the tastes have had time to mature / oh yum think I need to make a lasagna this weekend.

  15. Have they come out with non-stick aluminum foil in Australia yet? Reynolds Wrap introduced it some years back in the US. One side is totally non-stick. It’s great for things like this, or for lining a pan when baking chicken breasts or other things that might stick.

    • I don’t think so Cyndy…not that I have seen. What a great idea!

      • It’s parchment paper on one side and foil on the other. I bought a roll when it first showed up on the shelves–still trying to figure out where and when to use it !~!

        I use the same recipe except for the bechamel I substitute ricotta with a couple eggs beaten in and a cup of shredded mozzarella. Then of course the topping is solid mozz too. I LOVE laz so much. And boy howdy are the stretchy pants a necessity-perhaps even a loose dress on lasagna days.

  16. That’s my exact recipe – except I layer the cheese sauce directly on top of the lasagne sheets, rather than under them! I wonder if it makes a difference – will have to try it next time …

  17. I absolutely LOVE lasagne, it is one of my faves. I’m not a confident cook, and decided to make it one night, figuring it couldn’t be that hard. Meat. Sauce. Pasta. Right? It was all assembled and I carefully placed it into the hot oven, but let go of it to push it further onto the shelf, thinking the dish was balanced. It wasn’t. As I let go the dish toppled over onto the oven door, meat slopping everywhere, cheese instantly melting and sticking like a globby mess. I burst into tears, my dear husband rushing to my side, telling me it could be saved (it couldn’t) and me vowing never to cook lasagne again. And the oven door was a bugger to clean. The end.

  18. Lisa Mckenzie says

    I am like you no packet sauce and no added anything just the basics and I add a teaspoon of sugar into the tomatoes it just makes it better idk why I read it somewhere and it works Beth Xx

  19. This was my bday dinner request for my entire childhood.

    I remember Neighbour had a nifty tip about adding water to the corners of the assembled las to help avoid it getting dry. Top tip from OTBF.

  20. Beth, followed your recipe to a T…. its a winner alright! can’t wait to eat it for dinner tonight! Thanks for sharing this recipe with us! yay!!!

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Everyday-Things/503824783018685?ref=hl

  21. I can outdo Amanda and say that in my 42 years I’ve never made lasagne but am going to give this one a go! Question: what are the dimensions of your lasagne dish? Must want a rough idea.

  22. Looks delicious. You mention passata in the ingredients down the bottom. Is that added with tomatoes please?

  23. Just popped mine in the oven adding cooked eggplant…its that time of the year in the veggie patch. My husband came out and said what smells so good

  24. Beth….I luv lasagne…..I add a couple of finely diced chicken livers to the mince as its browning….adds the most amazing flavour, kinda like adding anchovies that disintegrate as you cook certain dishes…..everyone says it tastes wow but they can never pick what the “secret ingredient” is….takes your lasagne to a whole new level.
    Your welcome hehe

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