It’s another family classic! Oh yes, layers of delicious
I’m not sure why it took me so long to make one for myself, but I finally did – with some nudging from Stew hehe. I have helped my mom make it loads of times but never made one from scratch alone… I guess I thought it would just not be the same as my moms. But I am pleased to say, with my mom’s assistance (she has no written recipe, so she just explained what she did and I figured out some measurements to suit my lasagna dish), I am pleased to say… SUCCESS!
When you get served Lasagna in a restaurant, or an Italians home, it may seem a bit complicated to make. Daunting even. But it is actually really simple! Granted, it does take some time to make, and a few pots to wash, but the end result is so worth it!
Not only is it RIDICULOUSLY yummy, but it is perfect for when you are hosting family dinners, and you can make it in advance and freeze it! I can’t explain the happiness I felt when I would come home from school/varsity/work, and ask what was for dinner, and my mom would say “I defrosted Lasagna” – insert choir angels singing.
So with this blog post, you are getting a doubly delicious surprise, because to make Lasagna, you need Bolognese… Yup, I am finally sharing my Mamma’s heart winning Bolognese recipe as well. Yay for everybody! So enough babbling and let’s get to the recipe, shall we!
Mom’s Classic Lasagna
For the Bolognese
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Large Onion – Diced
- 2 Large Carrots – Diced
- 500 g Beef Mince (or beef and pork mince mixed)
- 2 Sprigs of Rosemary
- 1/2 cup Red Wine
- 140 g Tomato Paste
Boiling water to top up
- 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (or one small whole chilli)
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Bechamel
- 500 ml Milk
- 50 g Butter
- 40 g All-Purpose Flour
A pinch of salt, pepper and nutmeg
For the Lasagna
- 1 box Lasagna Pasta Sheets
Lots of grated Parmigiano
First, make the Bolognese. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot. Add in the diced carrots and onions (most Italian recipes have diced celery as well so feel free to add it if you would like). Cook at a medium/high temperature until the carrots soften.
Then add in the beef mince and sprigs of rosemary (I add it in with the stalks and remove them before serving). Cook until the mince has browned.
Next, add in the wine. Cook until the alcohol as cooked out (about 2 or 3 min).
Now add in the tomato paste and mix it into the mince. Top up the sauce with boiling water, until the mince has basically just been covered. Add in small whole chilli or a teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper and salt. Let it cook for at least an hour, stirring every now and then.
When the Bolognese is almost cooked, start with the Béchamel. Simply melt the butter in a medium-sized pot at medium heat. One it is bubbling, add in the flour and whisk.
When this mixture is bubbling, which will be quite soon, add in the milk and nutmeg. Lower the heat a little bit and mix until the mixture is thick. This may take a bit of time (5-10 min). Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
Now, here is where my Moms recipe differs to others. We add the Béchamel sauce into the Bolognese sauce and mix it together. Other more traditional recipes add the layers separately when assembling the Lasagna. But for this recipe, mix them together and set aside off the heat.
Now we can start with the Lasagna. We prepare a pot of boiling salt water, and parboil the Lasagna pasta sheets (for max 3 min), then lay them on a dishcloth.
To assemble, add a small ladle full of sauce at the bottom of your Lasagna dish and spread it around. This is to stop the Lasagna sheets from sticking to the dish.
Then you start to layer. Lasagna sheets first, then some sauce (NOT TOO MUCH, we want to be able to serve the Lasagna easily without sauce going everywhere), then some Parmigiano, then start again. The last layer should be a thin layer of sauce with A LOT of cheese!
You can then cover the Lasagna with foil and put into the fridge until ready to cook or freeze it.
Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Cook the lasagne with the foil on for 30 min. Then remove the foil, and cook for another 15 – 20 min – until golden and crispy on the top.