Lasagna is not easy to get right. I don’t know why people always offer to make it for school events, potlucks, birthdays, funerals… Growing up it seemed like something that would be easy to make because everyone was making it all the time. Let me assure you, it is not. I have made about a dozen lasagnas in the past year, around half of which have failed miserably, to quote a dinner guest “it was really not good”. So, it became a serious mission of mine to perfect my lasagna recipe, and that’s exactly what I’ve done. While I was shooting it for this post, our neighbors probably thought something real weird was going on in our apartment… our housemate Ed was making weird noises with his tongue/mouth, Hayden was literally drooling over it, and I was literally squealing with excitement because I had finally got it right. So yeah, it’s good.
Makes 1 10×12 pan (24.5cmx29cm)
- 6 cups of my Bolognese, we usually have some frozen which makes for easy lasagna assembly.
- 1/2 cup (80g) flour
- 1/2 cup (115g) salted butter
- 4 cups (1 leter) whole milk
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 16 lasagna sheets, I use fresh but you can (if you really have to) use dried, just be sure NOT TO USE THE ONES YOU DON’T HAVE TO COOK FIRST. THIS IS HOW YOU GET DRY LASAGNA.
- 2 cups parmesan, grated
- If using frozen bolognese simply add into a pot along with some tomato passata (plain tomato sauce, not ketch up) and let defrost over medium low for 30 minutes until bubbling. Turn off and set aside.
- Fill a large pot with water and 2 tbsp of salt and bring to a boil. Boil your lasagna sheets, I only do 4 at a time if they are fresh, until just al dente. Transfer into a bowl filled with ice water then transfer on a parchment lined baking tray to rest. Drizzle cooked sheets with olive oil before placing the next set on top. Continue with the remaining sheets until done.
- Preheat your oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Generously coat your baking dish with olive oil and set aside.
- To make your béchamel you will begin by melting the butter in a large pot over medium heat. While the butter is melting, heat your milk either over the stove or in the microwave until it reaches room temperature.
- Add your flour into the butter and whisk until smooth. Continue whisking for at least 3-5 minutes or until it is pale and bubbling. Slowly add in your milk, one cup at a time, stirring in completely after each addition.
- Once you’ve added all the milk you can add your salt and pepper. Continue stirring until mixture has thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Turn of heat.
- To assemble the lasagna ladle 1/2 cup of the bolognese onto the bottom of your baking dish, spreading evenly.
- You will then add a layer of pasta, followed by 1 cup bolognese, 1/2 cup béchamel (white sauce), and about a 1/3-1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. Repeat until you reach the top layer which will be covered in only béchamel and the remaining parmesan.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden and bubbling. (Note- the lasagna may require additional time in the oven if you are using anything other than fresh lasagna sheets).
- Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Epic cover photo by Ed Dallimore.