Lasagne is one of the all-time classics for a reason. It is rich, creamy, packed with flavour and is a lot of fun to put together. You’ll never go back to microwave lasagnes after this one, trust me.
A lasagne has three key components: the lasagne sheets, the bechamel, and the bolognese. This recipe uses dried lasagne sheets and focuses on making the bechamel. You can obviously make your lasagne sheets fresh, but the cooking instructions wont change much from this recipe; you’d simply leave the sheets raw and let the oven cook them.
I use my own bolognese recipe (which I will be plugging throughout this one, so check it out), as I tend to make large batches of bolognese up and freeze them, explicitly with lasagne in mind later in the week. When the bolognese is already pre-made, lasagne is actually a pretty easy meal to slap together! If you don’t want to make a bolognese up yourself, then a store-bought jar will do.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
- 800g bolognese sauce
- 8-10 uncooked lasagne sheets (might change depending on tray-size and size of sheets)
- 600ml milk
- 80g butter (equal parts butter and flour for a roux)
- 80g plain flour
- 1 tsp nutmeg (grated)
- 250g tasty (or cheddar) cheese
- 150g Parmesan cheese (shaved)
- Parsley for garnish
- 2 tbsp paprika
- Deep tray
- Large stainless steel pot (a pot you wont scrape with a whisk)
- Deep serving or chef’s spoon
Preparing the Bechamel
- Heat up a large pot and add the butter to it. Once the butter has melted, reduce down to a medium heat and add in the flour. Mix the flour and butter continuously until they have formed a dark yellow paste with no lumps. This is called a roux.
- Start adding the milk 100ml at a time to the roux, stirring until the liquid thickens each time. Once you have used all of the milk, add the nutmeg, along with 50g of the tasty cheese and 50g of the Parmesan
- If the bechamel is too thick, add more milk, a little at a time, until it is at the consistency you want. If it is too thin, you will have to make another roux in a separate pot an add the bechamel to it, as adding straight flour will make it lumpy and unpleasant.
Building the Lasagne
- Before beginning, pre-heat your oven to 200°C (392°F)
- Start by adding a very thin layer of the bolognese to the bottom of the tray. This is just to stop the sheets from sticking.
- Start with a layer of lasagne sheets. They should cover as much of the surface area as possible. Spoon bolognese over the sheets and full cover them, then add a bit of tasty and Parmesan cheese. You want to evenly distribute this cheese across all of your layers (about 4 in total depending on your tray) so don’t use all of it in one go!
- You want to finish on a layer of lasagne sheets and then pour the bechamel over the top of them. Make sure to evenly distribute the bechamel as it is more likely to slide if it has too much weight on one side. Put a topping of both cheeses on the bechamel and dust it lightly with paprika.
- Put the lasagne into the oven for 35 minutes. I like to then put the oven on grill for a further 5 minutes and gratinate the cheese on top, but your oven might give you that gratinated effect without that, so use your own discretion as to whether that is necessary.
Lasagne is a great meal to make when you have leftover bolognese and don’t want to just have spaghetti over and over. There is a lot you can shake up with this recipe. If a meaty sauce isn’t to your liking, then you can make a napoli or other tomato-based sauce instead. A lot of people love to replace the pasta sheets with thinly slice vegetables like eggplant or zucchini, to make a completely vegetarian and gluten free lasagne.
The cheeses can be varied up here too. I use tasty because it is cheap and convenient, but any cheddar will work in its place as long as its a nice mild one. As usual, my advice is just to figure out what you like most about this recipe and then tweak it to your personal preference (even though this recipe is amazing as it is…)
Don’t forget to check out the bolognese recipe that accompanies this one!