Preparation: 30 minutes, Cooking time: up to 2 hours: Serves: 6


For the meat sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil for frying
  • 1 onion, chopped and sliced
  • 500g to 600g beef mince – lean would be ideal
  • (optional) 50g prosciutto, cubetti di pancetti or dry bacon but chopped up. I find what ever is availbel but it’s flavour that matters.
  • 1 large celery stick, finely chopped
  • (optional) 1 chopped up carrot
  • 1 to 2 cloves of crushed fresh garlic
  • 2 (400g) tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 beef stock cube or 100ml of beef stock. If you use beef stock be sure to reduce any other liquids as the lasagne is watery.
  • 1 or 2 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 to 2 drops of Worcestershire sauce
  • Fresh basil with the leaves picked otherwise dried basil will do but you need more to obtain the equivalent taste
  • herbes de Provence to taste or fresh, finely chopped oregano, thyme (1 tbsp should do it).
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 handfuls grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1 packet (250g) of fresh lasagne sheets
  • 1 glass of red wine

For the béchamel sauce:

  • 60g or about 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 60g or about 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 700ml whole milk
  • 80g to 100g parmesan, finely grated
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • A bay leaf

A large baking dish – 2 litres is good enough


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 C / 190 C Fan / Gas 6.
  2. Fry the chopped onion in olive oil for about 5 to 7 minutes on a medium-high heat.
  3. Add the beef mince and garlic to the pan. Keep cooking to brown the mince. Once the mince has browned continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and their juices into the pan. Mix thoroughly and keep cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes until the meat sauce has thickened. Add the stock cube, tomato puree, Worcester sauce, basil and any other herbs.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well. If the mixture is runny add some cornflour to thicken it up. About 1 tablespoon should do it but I tend to keep cooking until the mixture has dried a little. You can overdo the addition of flour in thickening by the way.
  6. Let the mince sauce simmer away
  7. The white bechamel sauce is now prepared. Melt butter in a large pan and do it gently.
  8. When the butter has melted, add the plain flour and mix well until it forms a thick paste. When the paste has been formed, pour in some milk while constantly mixing with a whisk. Do this on a medium heat, whisking constantly and continuing to add milk until the mixture is lump free and has thickened a lot.

Once the sauce has thickened you can add a handful of grated Cheddar cheese. I use Cheddar but I’m sure any other type of mature cheese will work well. Keep stirring on the heat until the cheese has melted and is smooth. Finally, season to taste with salt, then remove from heat.

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1 Comment

  1. Nice recipe ad it works well. I have tried others but this one seems to be up there. My eight year old son liked it which says a lot.

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