Last month when Nigel and I visited Rome, we ate the best authentic lasagna we had ever tasted. It was a cold day and we had just visited the Spanish steps, we were looking for a nice restaurant to eat. We somehow couldn’t settle for a place, I guess it was the fatigue. We then walked past one small restaurant which wasn’t particularly special in comparison to what we were going for. I noticed how full it was and at that time I thought, it must be full for a reason.
The lasagna we ate was soooo good. We both found it impressive that it was so soft you couldn’t tell the layers apart and the mince was well cooked it felt like it melted on your tongue. When we came back home, I played around with a couple of recipes until I came up with my own method which I am about to share with you today.
Preparation and cooking time
Number of servings
For the sauce
500g mince meat (I find a mixture of pork and beef mince meat to be more flavorful)
1 red onions, roughly chopped
2 medium-sized carrots, roughly chopped
3 sticks of celery, chopped
100 ml of tomato sauce
Garlic (to your own preference)
salt and freshly ground black pepper tbsp.
Basil and Parsley
For the cheese mixture
- Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large heatproof pan up to a medium heat, then add mince meat. Keep the heat high so it fry’s rather than sweat. Brown for about 10 minutes, until golden-brown all over.
- If any excess liquids appear, drain them immediately but keep them for later.
- Add the onions, carrots, celery spices and herbs to the pan and fry for a few minutes, until softened.
- Pour in the stock and then add the tomato purée. If necessary, add a little more stock or hot water to ensure the meat is covered in liquid (this will prevent the meat from drying out). Cover and simmer the stew for 1–1½ hours until the mince is tender and the sauce has thickened. At this point, the vegetables should be undiscernible from the rest of the sauce.
- Set aside to cool until it’s cold.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas 6.
- Scoop some of the sauce to the bottom of a casserole dish and cover with some lasagna sheets. I try to keep the lasagna sheet layer as thin as possible.
- Then on top, pour some béchamel sauce and repeat until you have at least 3 layers.
- In a bowl, mix all your favorite cheeses. I normally mix ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano and mozzarella together. If the mixture is too stiff add some milk and egg and season as you please.
- Spread this mixture on the last layer of your ensemble.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden-brown and puffed all over.
Notes and FAQ
I personally buy Béchamel sauce and lasagna sheets. If you like to make these from scratch, there are plenty of videos online on how to do it.
If you’re in for some comfort food, then you might want to check out this pie recipe I shared earlier, you’ll thank me later 🙂