How to cook the best lasagne
Rich, delicious lasagne is one of the best family meals. The traditional Italian version takes love and care, and its ability to freeze well makes it the perfect comfort food to gift to family and friends. Learn all the best tips to cook the best lasagne recipe, as well as a quick cheat’s version that you can make with leftover bolognese.
What is lasagne?
A classic recipe made from layers of pasta either fresh or dried pasta sheets, béchamel, Bolognese sauce and cheese.
What is béchamel?
Béchamel is also known as white sauce, it's made from flour and butter which form a roux, and then milk and seasoning are added to turn it into a silky, rich sauce.
The recipe for béchamel in the Classic Beef Lasagne recipe below is infused with herbs and spices including bay leaves, cloves, parsley and nutmeg, as well as a hit of parmesan. This makes a sauce that works perfectly with the Bolognese, but has a distinct and delicious flavour that can hold its own.
You can find the recipe for the perfect béchamel and more tips for making it here.
Bolognese used in lasagne is made from finely diced vegetables, minced beef, tomatoes and red wine. There are also vegetarian versions where meat is substituted for lentils or beans, and healthier versions of Bolognese made with leaner minced meats such as chicken or turkey.
The Bolognese in the Classic Beef Mince recipe uses onions, celery and garlic for an aromatic base. Minced beef is browned well for flavour, then tomato paste and red wine are added. Stock can be substituted for wine if desired. The sauce then has tomato and passata added before being simmered for 45 minutes, turning it into a thick, luscious sauce with tender meat.
What cheese is best for lasagne?
Mozzarella is the cheese of choice. The traditional beef lasagne recipe below uses Perfect Italiano Mozzarella, as it is grated for convenience and has just the right formula for beautiful stretch and light, creamy flavour.
Should you use fresh or dry pasta sheets?
Fresh pasta sheets cook faster. If you can’t find fresh pasta sheets, you can use dried pasta sheets.
To use dried pasta sheets in lasagne, cook the lasagne for 10-15 minutes longer than fresh sheets. If your lasagne is looking too brown on top, you can cover it with foil for this extra cooking time.
If you're short on time, see the Cheat's Frypan Lasagne below too. There are also lasagne recipes for vegetarians, so everyone can enjoy this delicious pasta dish!
How to layer lasagne (with video)
1. Brush some olive oil on the bottom of the dish.
2. Spread a quarter of the béchamel sauce into the pan.
3. Layer lasagne sheets over the top in a single layer, break or cut the sheets so they fit.
4. Put down 1/3 of the Bolognese sauce, then another 1/4 of the béchamel. Place lasagne sheets on top.
5. Repeat the last step until you've used up the ingredients. Top with mozzarella.
Watch the video below if you want to see how lasagne can be layered.