Traditional Homemade Lasagne has to be one of the most well known and loved Italian classics. It combines some of my favourite Italian ingredients – meat ragu in a rich tomato sauce, pasta, the deliciously creamy white sauce (also known as béchamel or a roux) and of course parmesan cheese.
For this recipe, I’ve also added some cheese to the white sauce to give it an extra layer of decadence and depth of flavour, served with some fresh garlic bread on the side to wipe the plate clean at the end!
For this traditional homemade lasagne recipe, I am using a high quality Aberdeen Angus steak mince for extra flavour and succulence. Some may say this is not a true ragu so you can of course use pork or boar, as with many traditional Italian meat sauces. Or indeed lasagne also works very well as a vegetarian dish, filled with lots of delicious extra vegetables as a replacement for the meat.
This recipe serves 4 people with a preparation time of 15 minutes and cooking time of 30-45 minutes, depending on how much time you have got to cook the ragu down – the slower the better as this will release more flavour and make the meat nice and tender.
Traditional Homemade Lasagne with Garlic Bread – what you need:
Approx. 1lb or 500g good quality steak or pork mince (ground beef/steak or pork).
1x medium sized white onion – finely chopped.
2x cloves garlic – finely chopped or crushed.
1x medium sized courgette/zucchini – sliced into thin semi-circles.
6x medium sized white mushrooms – halved and thinly sliced.
1x tin/carton chopped tomatoes.
2x tablespoons tomato paste/puree.
1x beef stock pot/cube.
4x dashes Worcester sauce.
Lasagne pasta sheets – you can use fresh or dried.
Sea salt and black pepper.
Fresh basil leaves to garnish.
Large frying pan or saucepan and lid.
Baking dish big enough for 4 portions of lasagne.
For the white sauce – 50g/approx. 2oz salted butter, 2x tablespoons plain flour, 1/2 pint milk, 100-150g/approx. 4-5oz grated mature cheddar (use according to your taste), small saucepan.
For the garlic bread – fresh bread of your choice, 1x clove garlic crushed, 1x teaspoon mixed dried herbs or finely chopped fresh basil/oregano, extra virgin olive oil, pinch of sea salt.
Traditional Homemade Lasagne with Garlic Bread – what you need to do:
1. Heat a generous drizzle of olive oil in the large pan/saucepan over a medium heat then add the chopped onions and cook for 2 minutes until they start to soften. Then add the meat and cook until brown all over – make sure it is fully broken up and there are no chunks of meat. Now add the garlic, courgette/zucchini and mushrooms and cook until they start to brown and soften. Then add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree/paste, beef stock cube/pot and worcester sauce. Stir thoroughly, cover and simmer gently on low heat for up to 30 minutes, if you have time. Taste and season with black pepper and additional sea salt if necessary.
2. Whilst the meat sauce/ragu is cooking, you can make the white sauce. Add the butter to the small saucepan over a low-medium heat and melt. Then add the flour and stir into a paste with a wooden spoon. It is important to cook the flour off before adding any other ingredients otherwise your sauce will have a floury/powdery taste. Once the flour and butter mix has formed a thick paste, add the milk little by little and stir continuously to avoid lumps being formed. Once all the milk is added you should have a loose custard type consistency. Add more flour to thicken or more milk to loosen if necessary – ensure to cook further if adding more flour. Finally add the grated cheddar and stir until a smooth, custard like sauce has been formed.
3. Once the meat sauce/ragu is cooked, add half the mixture to the bottom of the baking dish, followed by a single layer of lasagne pasta sheets (break them into smaller pieces if necessary), then another layer of meat sauce, followed by another layer of pasta and finally the white sauce over the top. Grate some fresh parmesan over the top and bake in the oven at 200°C/180°C fan for 15 minutes or until the top is bubbling and has turned golden brown.
4. Whilst the lasagne is in the oven, you can make the garlic bread. Simply combine the crushed garlic, herbs, olive oil and sea salt into a small dish and mix thoroughly. Spread over the bread and toast in the toaster or put under the grill until crisp and golden.
Garnish with fresh basil, serve and enjoy!
I hope you like this traditional homemade lasagne recipe. As always, your feedback is most welcome so please comment below or get in touch at thefoodbeaver.com or through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.