Recipe: Ragu Lasagna

RAGU LASAGNA

We've started cheat week off with a bang! Ragu Lasagna. It's packed with four different types of meat, two cheeses, and delicious bechamel sauce. YUM. This dish is perfect for a cheeky cheat day or if you just want an incredible lasagna.

Ingredients

For The Ragu

  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 90 smoked pancetta
  • 4 good quality pork sausages, meat out of their skins
  • 250 g chuck steak, cut into a small-medium For the ragudice
  • 250 g minced beef
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 400 g chopped tomatoes
  • 300 ml beef stock
  • 1 sprig rosemary

For The Béchamel

  • 1 onion
  • 6 cloves
  • 550 ml whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg

To Construct

  • 12-16 dried egg lasagna sheets
  • 300 g mozzarella cheese
  • 100 g parmesan cheese, grated
Fry Pancetta and Veg

Step 1

Fry Pancetta And Veg

Peel and finely dice the onion and carrot. Finely dice the celery. Peel and mince the garlic. Heat a large, deep saucepan and glug in some olive oil. Add the pancetta into the pan and roughly break up the sausage meat into it as well. Let it begin to colour before adding the onion, carrot, celery and garlic.

Fry the Beef

Step 2

Fry The Beef

Allow the veg to soften before removing from the pan and replacing with the beef steak and mince. Cook for 10 minutes over a high heat, stirring if it starts to catch but letting it get brown and crisp in places.

Simmer

Step 3

Simmer

Return the veg and sausage mix to the pan and squeeze the tomato pureé into the pan to coat everything. Continue cooking so that the purée is almost sticking to the bottom of the pan, then deglaze with the red wine. Let the liquid bubble until reduced by half, then add the chopped tomatoes and the stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 2 hours over a very low heat, adding a dash more water if it begins to dry out too much.

Infuse Milk

Step 4

Infuse Milk

Peel and halve the onion and stud with the cloves for the béchamel sauce. In a small saucepan bring the milk to the boil with the studded onion halves and bay leaf. Simmer for a few minutes then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for up to 30 minutes if you have the time.

Make the Bechamel

Step 5

Make The Bechamel

Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute. Strain the milk and slowly pour it into the pan, a little at a time, stirring until smooth before adding more. Finish by grating in the nutmeg and seasoning well.

Preheat the Oven

Step 6

Preheat The Oven

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Assemble and Bake

Step 7

Assemble And Bake

Spread the meat sauce over the bottom of a baking dish. Spoon in a little of the white sauce, and top with torn pieces of mozzarella and grated Parmesan. Cover the layer with lasagna sheets and repeat twice more, finishing with a top of lasagna sheets. Spread the last of the béchamel over the top and scatter over a final layer of only cheese, then place in the oven for 30 minutes.

Serve!

Step 8

Serve!

Serve with some garlic bread! Serves 8

Comments

ndudge

When I made this, I got 4 layers of pasta into it, and it was very good, but too rich. I'm not sure the different types of meat really make a difference either, except to price. Just use 50/50 pork and beef mince (or 70/30 whichever you prefer). Given how long it takes to make, I'd rather put the effort into Marcella Hazan's version (the liquids you add are milk, wine and tomato [no stock]) - which is still rich but not so 'meaty'. I also recommend swapping one of the middle layers of pasta out for a layer of spinach (makes a huge difference, but only if you've got plenty of pasta layers as well), and also adding a tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar to the ragu about 20 min before you are done with it - it lifts and lightens it loads and cuts through the dense beefiness.

Sorted

We've started cheat week off with a bang! Ragu Lasagna. It's packed with four different types of meat, two cheeses, and delicious bechamel sauce. YUM. This dish is perfect for a cheeky cheat day or if you just want an incredible lasagna.

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