What can you say about beef lasagne that's not been said a million times before? Once again the Italians demonstrate a deep understanding of the term "comfort food" and their complete mastery of flavour and texture combinations. In this recipe, we’ll take you through each stage of the process and show you how to make this incredibly satisfying family supper at home with just a few simple ingredients. Not only CAN you make this at home but I guarantee that if you follow along with our step-by-step instructions it will turn out as delicious, if not more delicious, than the one you have at your favourite Italian restaurant. So, what are you waiting for, jump in and get cooking!
For the bechamel sauce
1 Litre Whole milk
120g Plain flour
120g Unsalted butter - cubed
1tsp Dijon mustard
150g Cheese - gruyere or comté
For the pasta sheets
4 x Free range eggs
1x Free range egg yolk
300g Italian Tipo 'OO' flour
100g Organic semolina
30g Extra virgin olive oil
A splash of water
A quantity of beef ragu (see our other recipe)
First, make your beef ragu. You can find our recipe for this here. This can be made well in advance but should be warmed prior to assembling the lasagne.
To make the pasta sheets
- Put the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the oil and four eggs and start to bring this together either by hand or in a stand mixer with a k-beater. Add the extra yolk or water to draw in the last of the dry ingredients. Once the mix is too stiff to work in the mixer, turn it out onto a work surface and knead it by hand for a couple of minutes then cut it in half. Roll each half into a ball, pop one aside for now so you are working with one smaller ball.
- With a little additional flour on the work surface, knead for a few more minutes until the texture starts to soften and become silkier. Alternatively, put the dough through the pasta roller on its widest setting, continually folding and repeating until the texture softens and becomes silkier. You will need to put some extra flour on the surface each time you fold it, but try not to add too much! Whichever method you use, the dough is now ready to turn into pasta.
- Squash the ball slightly flat and feed it through the pasta roller on its widest setting. Reduce the width of the roller and feed the sheet through again. Repeat this a few times, reducing the thickness each time until you have a long length of soft pasta sheet the thickness you need. (For lasagne, we don't go down to the thinnest setting). Put this aside on a lightly floured work surface and repeat the entire process with the second ball of dough.
- When all your pasta is rolled out and you are ready to assemble your lasagne, cut it into the lengths you need for the dish you are using.
- You will probably have a good amount of pasta spare which you can use to turn into any other pasta shapes you choose!
To make the Bechamel sauce
- Melt the butter in a wide saucepan (a curved sided sauté dish is ideal) over a medium heat until it sizzles. Add the flour and mix with a wooded spoon until combined and there are no lumps. Cook this roux until it appears to slightly ‘dry-out’.
- Add the milk, a little at a time, stirring all the while with a balloon whisk. Cook it in, still whisking until you have a thick-ish, glossy bechamel.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the grated cheese. Once this has melted, add the dijon mustard and season well with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning as required.
To assemble the lasagne
- Preheat the oven to 200℃. Grease the lasagne dish with a little butter. Place a single layer of the pasta sheets on the bottom of the dish followed by a thin layer of the beef ragu. Top this with about a quarter of the cheese sauce.
- Add another layer of pasta sheets over the sauce, followed by another thin layer of beef ragu and about another quarter of the cheese sauce. Top off with a final, third, layer of pasta sheets.
- Briskly whisk an egg into the remaining cheese sauce and pour this over the top pasta layer and smooth it out with a spatula. Grate a good layer of gruyere cheese over the top and sprinkle on a little paprika.
- Place the lasagne dish in the centre of the preheated oven and bake at 200℃ for 45mins. Remove the lasagna from the oven and leave to sit for 10mins before serving.
- Cut into individual portions with a sharp knife and serve. Delicious!
Download the recipe as a PDF.