Traditional lasagne recipe
500g x lean minced beef (can use 200g of this of pork mince if you like. Adds extra flavour)
2 x onions (finely chopped)
1 x clove of garlic (crushed)
2 x tins of chopped tomatoes
½ x tube or jar of tomato puree (I like the sundried tomato puree)
50ml x balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
1 x box of lasagne sheets (fresh or dried and any colour/flavour you wish)
Béchamel or white sauce
100g x butter
200g x flour
1ltr x milk
100g x grated parmesan
Finely chop your onions and start to sweat in a large saucepan with a little olive oil. Add the crushed garlic and fry a little. Add the mince and cook out all the blood.
At this point you may notice that there could be a bit of fat that has come from the meat. This would be an ideal time to drain of the fat from the dish.
Add the tomatoes, the tomato puree and use the tomato can and fill it with a tin of water and add to the ragu.
The main element to this dish is time, so if you are staying in for most of the day or you have a slow cooker even better. I tend to cook my sauce on a low heat for at least 6 hours if possible, topping up with a little water if the sauce becomes to thick.
If you can not wait that long than cook for at least an hour so the flavours have time to develop.
15 minutes before you start building your lasagne take a medium size pan and melt the butter. Once melted add the flour and stir in well, beating out all the lumps.
A little at a time add the milk and mix well. Don’t leave the sauce as this tends to catch very easily. Do this in stages until you have finished the milk. Don’t be tempted to just throw the milk in and hope the best as it won’t work properly and the sauce will lumpy.
This white sauce doesn’t need the traditional studded onion and bay leaf as you will add a ¼ of the grated parmesan to the sauce an whisk in.
Now with a large dish spoon in some of the sauce so you have a thin layer of sauce, then cover with pasta sheets.
Repeat until the sauce is finished and the last layer is pasta.
Pour over the white sauce and completely cover the pasta. Finish the lasagne with the rest of the grated parmesan and finish with a little freshly cracked black pepper.
Bake in a medium oven @ 160c for 50 minutes. Test with a knife.
The knife should have no resistance at all and have a beautiful golden colour.
The lasagne cooked with fresh lasagne sheets will take a lot less. About 20 – 30 minutes.
Eat with a nice fresh salad and some freshly baked garlic bread.