Nothing hits the spot like a hearty Italian lasagne.
But there is no need to go out to a restaurant to enjoy the traditional fare, Let's Do Lunch chef Gino D'Acampo is going to show you how to make it.
Just follow the method in the recipe below:
- 12 fresh lasagne sheets (each approx. 10x15cm)
- 500g minced beef
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 large carrot (peeled and grated)
- 1 onion (peeled and finely chopped)
- 1 celery stick (finely chopped)
- 1 700ml bottle of passata (sieved tomatoes)
- 1 tbsp of tomato puree
- 1 glass of Italian dry red wine
- 100g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 50g salted butter (cold and cut into 1cm cubes)
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Béchamel sauce:
- 100g salted butter
- 100g plain flour
- 1lt full fat milk (cold)
- ¼ freshly grated nutmeg
For the meat sauce, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions, carrot and celery for 5 minutes on a medium heat. Add in the minced beef and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes stirring continuously until coloured all over.
Season with salt and pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
Pour in the wine, stir well and continue to cook until the wine has evaporated. (Approximately 3 minutes).
Add in the sieved tomatoes with the tomato puree, lower the heat and continue to cook for 1 hour, lead off, until you get a beautiful rich sauce. Stir occasionally. (After about 30 minutes, taste for seasoning).
In the meantime, to make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute until it becomes a light brown colour. Gradually whisk in the cold milk, reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes whisking constantly. Once thickened, stir in half of the parmesan cheese with the nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to slightly cool.
Spread a quarter of the béchamel sauce on the bottom of a deep ovenproof dish measuring approx 30x25cm. Lay 4 lasagne sheets on top and if necessary cut them to fit the dish. Spread over half of the meat sauce then top with a third of the remaining béchamel sauce. Lay 4 more sheets of lasagne on top and cover with the remaining meat sauce. Spread over half of the remaining béchamel sauce. Add a final layer of lasagne sheets and gently spread the rest of the béchamel on top making sure that you completely cover the lasagne sheets.
Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and scatter over the cubed butter. Add freshly ground black pepper over the whole lasagne.
Cook on the bottom of a preheated oven at 180C for 30 minutes then place the dish in the middle of the oven. Raise the temperature to 200C and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes, until golden and crispy all over.
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