I absolutely love lasagne – it’s one of my favourite Italian pasta recipes that I love to eat out and dine at home. There’s something comforting about a good, hearty lasagne that warms the stomach and the soul. Perfect for family dinners as well as dinner for two with plenty of leftovers for a quick and easy mid-week meal, lasagne is very versatile, and easy to make.
Lasagne or ‘lasagna’ actually traces back to Ancient Greece and derives from the Greek word ‘Laganon’, for dough sliced into strips and also the composition of pasta layers and sauce. It was not known for the ingredients used – we have the Italians to thank for this. The modern lasagne that we know so well was in fact developed in Naples, Italy during the Middle Ages and was eaten on special occasions. Today, lasagne can be crafted with different types of mince and can also be made as a vegetarian option with toasted vegetables and spinach.
Since I’ve learned how to make pasta from scratch, I can never use box pasta ever again. Making fresh pasta from scratch is super easy to do, but also makes your lasagne taste even better, with soft, silky layers. I used to do everything by hand which is actually a good workout or stress relief, but having a mixer and pasta roller makes all the difference now and much quicker. So, if you love pasta, I recommend purchasing a mixer and pasta roller for the best results.
Here’s my favourite homemade lasagne recipe:
Homemade Lasagne: Serves 6 | Easy to Medium | 2-2 hours 30 minutes
Ingredients for the dough:
- 3 eggs
- 300g 00 flour
- 1 tablespoon oil
Ingredients for the Béchamel cheese sauce:
- 1 bay leaf
- 400ml milk
- 40g butter
- 20g plain flour
- 50g cheddar cheese
- 20g parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
Ingredients for the Bolognese sauce:
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 500g lean pork mince
- 200ml red wine
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 400g cup mushrooms, finely diced
- 680ml passata
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- Fresh basil for garnish
- 200g cheddar cheese
- 100g parmesan cheese
- Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.
- Crack the eggs in the well and add one tablespoon of oil.
- Mix well on a low speed of your mixer until it all comes together. If there’s still flour left, add in a few drops of water to combine.
- Let the pasta rest. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove dough from fridge and bring to room temperature. Line your tabletop with greaseproof paper and plain flour to stop the pasta from sticking.
- Roll the pasta using a pasta roller or rolling pin until it is 2mm thin. Cut into rectangles the size of your baking dish and lay on the greaseproof paper until ready to use.
- Heat oil in a large pot over a medium heat and add onion and garlic. Cook until lightly browned.
- Add the mince and cook over a medium to high heat, stirring and cooking the mince evenly until browned. Add in the carrot, mushrooms and chili and pour in the wine and simmer until reduced by half.
- Add the passata and tomato paste and stir to combine all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce. Melt 40g of butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
- Gradually pour and blend in the milk and add the bay leaf. Keep adding the milk until it’s creamy and smooth. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper and bring off the heat. Continue stirring and remove the bay leaf once it’s ready.
- In a large casserole dish, add a thin layer of the Bolognese sauce, then a layer of the cheese sauce and season with salt and pepper before adding the pasta sheets to cover the dish. Repeat the process, trying to add at least three to four layers or pasta. On your final layer, finish with the béchamel cheese sauce on top of the lasagne sheet and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and cheddar cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.
- Serve immediately with a side salad and garnish with fresh basil.
Note: Reheat by covering the lasagne with foil and place in a preheated oven of 180°C for 20 minutes.