Sometimes I just crave lasagne, rich tomato sauce, soft pasta sheets and a crispy layer of cheese… It’s also one of the first things I remember cooking and being really proud of at the time.
The sauce is a basic Bolognese sauce (basic in technique, amazing in flavour), I prefer to make it a day ahead so the flavours get enough time to rest and mix together. I sometimes add a béchamel sauce with loads of nutmeg but I just wasn’t in the mood for the hassle. Without it’s just as tasty and definitely a bit lighter!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cans whole tomatoes
- 500 g ground beef
- 2 celery stalk, finely sliced
- 2 medium sized carrots, halved and chopped into 0.5 cm slices
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 - 4 garlic cloves, grated
- 1.5 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 bayleaves
- Pepper & Salt
- Package dried lasagne sheets (I used 12 in total)
- 200g grated cheese
- Basil leaves to serve
The Bolognese sauce (5 minutes prep, 1 - 1.5 hours cooking the sauce)
Heat a drop of olive oil on medium heat in a heavy based pan and add the ground beef and sauté until cooked. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pan add some more olive oil and add the onions, scraping all the meaty bits from the bottom of the pan.
Sauté until translucent and fragrant, 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and celery, stir and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the oregano and the tomato paste, sauté for 5 minutes, keep stirring. This helps get rid of he acidity of the tomato paste.
return the beef and resting juices to the pan (you can also drain out the resting juices if you want to make it a leaner dish, but to me it always feels like throwing away flavour).
Add the 2 cans of tomatoes, rinse the cans with a drop of water and add this to the pan.
Turn the heat up and bring to a simmer, breaking down the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon.
Add the bayleaves, sugar and a good grind of pepper and salt.
Stir through and let bubble away with the lid slightly ajar for at least 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. I prefer to let it simmer for around 1.5 hours.
If you find the sauce is getting too thick just add some water, if too watery, leave the lid off completely and let simmer until desired consistency.
Taste and season if needed.
Turn off the heat and preferably let it rest overnight in the fridge, but of course you can also go straight into making the lasagne.
Making the Lasagne (5 minutes prep, 45 minutes baking)
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Get out your lasagne dish, I used a 20 x 30 cm baking dish.
Step 1: Start with a thin layer of sauce.
Step 2: On top of the sauce place a layer of the lasagne sheets, break them if needed to make sure all sauce is covered.
Step 3: Press down so all air bubbles are removed.
Repeat step 1 - 3 and end with a layer of sauce (in the end I had 3 layers of lasagne sheets and 5 layers of sauce.
Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
Serve with some fresh torn basil leaves and a drizzle of good quality olive oil.