Saturday, February 28, 2009

traditional lasagne

I’ve never met a lasagne I didn’t like”, declared Garfield, the comic-strip cat, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who’d disagree with the chubby talking tabby. One of Italy’s most popular culinary exports, the word ‘lasagne’ derives from the Latin word ‘lasanum’ meaning cooking pot but the term has now come to describe the dish itself, which is typically made with sheets of wide pasta, layered with a savoury mixture and baked in the oven. , there’s just something about lasagne that exudes the Italian qualities of warmth and hospitality, and makes you feel instantly at home – wherever you happen to be.

what you need

meat sauce
2 tbs Olive oil
750g Beef mince
1 Onion, chopped
2 Cloves garlic, crushed
1 Stalk celery, finely chopped
1 Carrot, finely chopped
2 x 440g cans Italian diced tomatoes
1/2 Cup red wine
1/2 tsp Dried oregano
2 tbs Basil, chopped
Salt and ground black pepper

cheese sauce
60g Butter
13 Cup plain flour
2 Cups milk
1 Cup grated picante provolone cheese
1/2 Cup grated mozzarella
1/2 Cup grated parmesan cheese
500gr Lasagne Sheets

what to do
To make the meat sauce, heat 1 tbs of olive oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Cook mince in batches, stirring and breaking up lumps with a wooden spoon. Remove meat to a bowl.
Heat remaining oil in the pan and cook the onion, garlic, celery and carrot for 4-5 minutes or until soft.
Return the meat to the pan and stir in the undrained tomatoes, wine, oregano and basil. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually add the milk, stirring until the sauce is smooth. Return to the heat and cook, stirring constantly until the sauce boils and thickens. Reduce theheat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, then add the provolone and season to taste. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 24 x 30cm ovenproof dish with olive oil. Trim lasagne sheets so they fit into the base of the dish. Spread half of the meat sauce over the lasagne sheets. Top with one-third of the cheese sauce. Arrange another layer of lasagne sheets over the cheese sauce.
Repeat layers, finishing with a layer of lasagne then the last of the cheese sauce. Sprinkle with combined mozzarella and parmesan. Bake for 35-40 minutes until top is golden.

The trick to a firm lasagne is to let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.


  1. Hi Joe,

    Lasagna is one of my hubby's favorites. Thanks for the history and the recipe.

  2. Yum, looks great...Dad and Laurie would love this one...