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Making the best lasagne



Prep Time


Cook Time



600 gbeef mince
1 tbpsolive oil
1small onion, finely chopped
1medium carrot, finely chopped
2stick celery, finely chopped
0.5 cupwhite wine
700 gbottle tomato passata
0.5 cupwater
2 tspdried oregano or basil
White sauce
60 gbutter
0.33 cupplain flour
2 cupsmilk
small pinch nutmeg
To assemble
6sheet fresh lasagne sheets (or 9 dried)
0.5 cupgrated Parmesan cheese
30 gsoft butter
extra grated Parmesan


1To make the meat sauce; Heat a large, deep-sided frypan, ensure it is hot. Crumble in half of the mince. Cook the mince, breaking up any lumps with a fork. Let the liquid evaporate. Remove the first batch, reheat pan and cook remaining mince and then remove. Add oil, onion, carrot and celery to frypan, cook over a medium to low heat until onion is just soft.
2Return the mince to the frypan, add the wine, and cook until all of the wine has been absorbed. Add the tomato passata, water, herbs and season with salt, pepper and a small pinch of sugar. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, partly cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Add a little water to sauce if needed as it cooks.
3To make the white sauce; heat the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, add flour and stir to combine, cook for 30 seconds. Add the milk gradually, stir until smooth. Add nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper. Stir constantly until the mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.
4To assemble lasagne; Preheat oven to moderate 180ºC. Use a deep, rectangular ovenproof dish (we used one 31 x 23cm). Add a couple of tbsp of meat sauce to the base of the dish, spread it out. Add a layer of lasagne sheets, top with some meat sauce, add a couple of tbsp of white sauce and spread it out over the meat.
5Continue in this way finishing with the white sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan and a few tsp of butter. Bake covered for 20 minutes, and then uncovered for a further 20 minutes, or until thoroughly hot. Remove from oven and stand for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with the extra Parmesan to serve.


Make the lasagne ahead of time. You can make both sauce components ahead of time (up to 2 days in advance, or even longer if you freeze the meat sauce) and assemble and bake your lasagne on the day of serving. When you're ready to assemble it preheat the oven and warm both sauces (just so they are warm to touch).
Buying and storing mince Refer to use-by-dates on packaged mince and use well within that time. Loose mince purchased from the butcher is best used within 1 to 2 days of buying it.
Mince can be frozen for 2-3 months Lay it out flat to freeze, it will then defrost evenly and quickly.
Thaw frozen mince in the fridge, or in the microwave Thaw it on the lowest shelf in the fridge, below and or away from any ready to eat food. If you thaw mince in the microwave it must be cooked right away.

Recipe suggessions based on what you have in your fridge.

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