homemade lasagne with rich beef ragu

by Howard Land

The key to the best-tasting lasagne is a rich and tasty ragu and loads of cheese.

Lasagne is such a family favorite and it’s surprisingly easy to make.

Image by Claire via Sprinkles and Sprouts

How to make Lasagne

We’re going to start by making the ragu.

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan and heat over a medium to high heat then we had a diced onion and cook for five minutes stirring often until the onion starts to soften.

Add two cloves of minced garlic and cook for a further minute, next in goes a finely diced carrot and three finely diced mushrooms.

We’re gonna cook that for two to three minutes.

Next in goes 450 grams or a pound of minced beef, try to go with some good quality beef and don’t go with the low-fat stuff you want 12 to 20 percent fat for the most flavor.

Cook that for 5 to 6 minutes until browned all over breaking up any large chunks as you go.

Next in goes 3 tablespoons of tomato puree, a teaspoon of dried oregano, and half a teaspoon of dried thyme.

Now add in a tablespoon of Worcester sauce and a crumbled beef stock cube.

Add two 400g or 14oz tins of chopped tomatoes, half a tablespoon of brown sugar and half a teaspoon each of salt and pepper, stir everything together and brings it to the boil and turns down the heat and simmers for 15 to 20 minutes.

While that bubbling away we’re going to preheat the oven to 200 C or 400 F and make a start on the bechamel sauce.

Add 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter to a medium saucepan and melt it over medium heat.

Once the butter is melted its bubbling slightly adds in 4 tablespoons of plain all-purpose flour and whisk it into the butter, keep stirring the roux with a whisk over medium heat for about a minute just to cook the flour through.

Add in a good splash of milk turn up the heat and stir with the whisk to incorporate.

Keep adding in the milk a splash at a time and stir in with the whisk until all the milk is used up, don’t worry if you’ve got a few lumps in there they’ll disappear as the sauce thickens.

Once thickened add in 100 grams or a packed cup of grated cheddar cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper stir it together and then turn off the heat.

Now we’re going to layer up the lasagne, we’re going to place a couple of spoonfuls of the meat sauce on the base of the dish you don’t need too much it’s just enough to stop the pasta from sticking.

Now cover the sauce with 4 lasagne sheets you might need to break the lasagne sheets up a little bit just to make sure they fit with the shape of your pan but try to make sure they don’t overlap.

Now top the pasta with 1/3 of your white sauce, and then a third of your meat sauce, and repeat twice more so it’s pasta, white sauce, meat sauce, pasta, white sauce, meat sauce and finish off by sprinkling on the cheese.

you need to get 175 grams or 1 and 3/4 cups of mixed mozzarella and cheddar cheese.

Then place in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese is golden and the lasagne is bubbling slightly at the edges.

Sprinkle with a little parsley and you’re ready to serve.

That’s your homemade lasagne easier to make than you might think it’s gonna be devoured by the whole family.

homemade lasagne with rich beef ragu
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 

This authentic Italian homemade lasagne made with tender Beef Ragu, Bechamel Sauce and golden cheese topping, Lasagne is another classic comfort food!

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: How to make Lasagne
Servings: 8
Ingredients
Meat Sauce:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 carrot peeled and finely diced
  • 3 chestnut (brown) mushrooms finely diced
  • 1 pound (500g) minced beef (ground beef) 12-20% fat, don't go for the really lean stuff, it's too dry
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 beef stock cube crumbled
  • 28 oz (2 x 400g) canned chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tbsp light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
Béchamel Sauce:
  • 4 tbsp butter salted or unsalted is fine
  • 4 tbsp plain/all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups (720ml) full-fat milk
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 packed cup (100g) cheddar cheese grated
Also:
  • 12 sheets of dried lasagne the kind you don’t need to pre-cook
  • 1 3/4 cups (175g) mixed grated cheese. I use a combination of regular cheddar, red cheddar and mozzarella
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium to high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion softens.

  2. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

  3. Add carrot and mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

  4. Add the minced meat and cook for 5-6 minutes until golden brown. Stir often and chop large pieces of meat with a spatula.

  5. Add the tomato puree, oregano, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, canned tomatoes, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Stir and cook. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until thickened.

  6. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200 ° C and start with béchamel sauce:

  7. Add the butter in a medium-sized saucepan and melt over medium heat. Once melted and gently bubbling, add the flour and mix it with the butter.

  8. Gently beat the roux over the heat for a minute or two to cook the flour. Add a good spray of milk, increase the heat and stir with a whisk.

  9. Add the milk well one at a time and beat until all the milk is used up (I usually need about 3 to 4 minutes and add the milk in about 5 sprinkles). Don't worry if you have lumps, keep stirring with the whisk and these will disappear when the sauce thickens.

  10. Continue to stir the sauce over the heat with the whisk until the sauce thickens. Add salt, pepper and cheddar after thickening. Mix, then turn off the heat.

  11. Now is the time to make your lasagna. You need a large, fairly deep lasagna dish (mine is a rectangular  enamel roaster, approx. 31 cm x 25 cm and 5 cm deep, but everything it is okay to come close to these measures).

  12. Pour a few tablespoons of meat sauce on the plate with the lasagna and flatten it to cover the bottom. You don't need much just to make sure the lasagna sheets don't stick to the bottom of your plate. Then cover with 4 lasagna sheets. Make sure they don't overlap. You may need to break one of the leaves to cover the plate completely.

  13. Then pour in a third of the bechamel sauce and spread it over the lasagna sheets. Then add a third of the remaining meat sauce.

  14. Place a layer of lasagna sheets on top. Followed by a layer of bechamel sauce and meat sauce. Repeat again until all salsa and lasagna sheets have been used.

  15. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over it.

  16. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until the cheese is golden yellow and the lasagna bubbles slightly around the edges. Take out of the oven and let stand 5 minutes before sprinkling with parsley and serve.

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