Every child thinks their mum’s lasagne is unbeatable and so it felt a little wrong to put my version in these pages for you all. My lasagne, surely cannot be better than your mum’s. So, I do apologise for in this one instance, this recipe is not for you. This one here is for my amazing three. There is nothing our girls love to eat more than their mum’s lasagne and when I asked them what I absolutely must include in these pages of this book… it was unanimous.
Girls … I cried (a lot) writing this recipe down. You will get it one day too, I am sure. Treasure it and always cook it from the heart. I hope it takes you back to the many special times around our family table, for this very special table is my favourite place to stop, sit and simply be with you.
You are and always will be, my amazing three. Thanks for choosing me and Dad (truly … thank you).
Love & lasagne always, Mum x
1 packet fresh lasagne sheets (store bought or make your own, see page 138 of Relish Mama ‘Family’ cookbook)
25 g butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and very finely diced
1 celery stick, very finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed or very finely chopped
300 g each of minced beef and pork (can substitute one for minced veal if you like or use all three)*
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 x 400 g crushed Italian tomatoes
Small tin of tomato puree
1 cup white wine
¾ cup water
1 heaped teaspoon great quality dried oregano
1 fresh bay leaf
Freshly ground black pepper
500 ml milk
3 tablespoons butter
3–4 tablespoons plain flour
200 g grated Mozarella, plus extra
Freshly ground black pepper
To make the bolognese, heat oil and butter in a frying pan and fry the chopped onion, carrot and celery. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring often.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for a further minute.
Add the meat and fry until browned. Drain any excess fat.
Add the tomato paste, tinned tomatoes and tomato puree. Stir.
Add the wine, water and herbs and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and simmer for a minimum of 1–1½ hours, ensuring you stir from time to time. A little water may need to be added if it is drying out too much.
To make the bechamel, warm the milk and set aside.
Heat a small saucepan and melt the butter. Reduce heat to low and add flour. Stir to form a roux and continue cooking for 1–2 minutes.
Add the warm milk and raise the heat to medium-high. Whisk until you have a smooth sauce. Simmer and allow to thicken. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper.
To assemble the lasagne, spoon some of the bolognese into the bottom of a lasagne dish to make your first layer. Top with a lasagne sheet (trim to size if need be), followed by a layer of the bechamel sauce. Repeat until you have your desired amount of layers (I generally have 3–4). The final layer will be a lasagne sheet topped with the béchamel sauce. Sprinkle with extra cheese.
Bake in preheated oven on 180°C for approximately 45 minutes.
Tips and Variations
- Genuine Bolognese is a mixture of at least two types of meat.
- Ragu can be used in lieu of the Bolognese. (see page 140 of Relish Mama ‘Family’ cookbook)
- Double the Bolognese to freeze in batches.
All images in this post and in the Relish Mama cookbook are courtesy of Tamara Erbacher, my dear friend.