August 10, 2022

Lasagna with Ragu and Bechamel Sauce

Daen's Kitchen has perfected the classic lasagna!  Rich, creamy and indulgent and made with layers of beef and pork ragu, cheesy bechamel sauce and el dente homemade pasta sheets. One bite of this lasagna and you will instantly be transported to Italy.
Ingredients

Serves 8

Ragu Sauce

  • 500g beef mince

  • 500g pork mince

  • 4 tablespoons Rich Glen Frantoio extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 white onions very finely diced

  • 2 carrots very finely diced

  • 2 stalks of celery very finely diced

  • 4 large garlic cloves crushed

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup white wine

  • 1 x 700g passata

  • 4 - 5 large tomatoes diced

  • ½ cup water

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bechamel Sauce

  • 100g unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon Rich Glen Frantoio extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 crushed garlic cloves

  • 1/2 cup plain white flour

  • 3 cups full fat milk

  • 50g grated gruyere or white cheddar

  • 50g grated parmeson

  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Assembly

  • Fresh lasagne sheets

  • 25g mix of parmeson and gruyere or cheddar cheese

Directions

Ragu Sauce

  • Season your mince with salt and pepper. In a large pot on a high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and bring to the heat. Add half of the mince into the pan and fry for three minutes, breaking the mince down with your spoon and stirring occasionally. You want to cook your mince in batches so it does not overcrowd the pot and broil. Take your mince out of the pot with all of its juices and repeat this step. Don’t worry if your meat is still a little pink and not cooked through as it will continue to cook in this sauce. This step ensures we are building flavour and texture in the dish. Take the second bath of mince out of the pot with all of its juices and set to the side.

  • In the same pot, add two tablespoons of olive oil and bring to the heat. Turn the heat down to low and cook the onions, carrots, celery  for 10 - 12 minutes or until they become fragrant and translucent. Halfway through cooking the vegetables, add the garlic to the pot and cook for 5 - 6 minutes. Turn the heat to medium - high and add the tomato paste to the pot. Cook for 3 minutes stirring quite often until it turns a deep red colour and is almost sticking to the pan. Deglaze the plan with the white wine and stir until 50% of the liquid has been absorbed.

  • Add your passata, tomatoes, water, and salt and pepper to the pot and stir well. Add your cooked mince and all of its delicious juices and give it a stir. Bring your ragu to the boil and then turn the heat down to low and leave to simmer for 2 hours with the lid off. If the sauce is getting too thick as it cooks, pop the lid on. Taste your sauce as it cooks to ensure it is seasoned to your liking. You may want to add more salt or pepper.

Bechamel sauce

  • In a large fry pan on a low - medium heat, melt the butter. Add the olive oil and crushed garlic and cook for 2 minutes making sure you stir occasionally so the garlic does not burn.

  • Add the flour to your pan and cook for several minutes stirring quite consistently with a whisk until a paste like texture forms. Add in your milk one cup at a time, whisking until smooth and thick. Whisk through the cheese and then leave to simmer for 3 minutes until your sauce has thickened and is at a consistency you like. You can add more milk if needed.

Assembly

  • Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

  • In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, quickly blanch your fresh lasagne sheets for roughly 1 - 2 minutes. Place them into a bowl of cold water to prevent them from further cooking then lay them out on clean tea towels.

  • In a large baking dish, smear a small amount of ragu sauce on the bottom then layer your lasagne sheets over the top. Smear a larger amount of ragu sauce over the lasagne sheets then a layer of bechamel sauce and then your lasagne sheets over the top. Repeat this step until your baking dish is filled or you have finished your sauces. You should get roughly 4 layers. For the final layer, sprinkle the cheese over your white sauce. You want to be careful with how much cheese you put on as too much cheese can make your lasagne very oily.

  • Bake your lasagne for 40 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and the edges are crunchy.

  • Leave your lasagne to sit for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving


    Recipe collaboration with Daen's Kitchen