The Muddled Pantry
6 servings Prep: 25 mins, Cooking: 2 hrs 50 mins
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Rich and layered, the ultimate comfort.

By Food24 December 03 2015
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Ingredients (18)

250 g packet of dried lasagne pasta sheets
dried oregano
fresh basil — to garnish
500 g mince — beef
100 g pancetta — lardon or bacon, finely diced
75 g carrots — peeled and finely chopped
75 g celery stalks — finely chopped
1 onion — finely chopped
50 g tomato purée
1/2 red wine — or white wine
180 ml milk — fresh
salt and freshly ground black pepper
50 g butter
50 g flour — plain
900 ml milk — full-fat
salt and freshly ground black pepper
nutmeg — ground, pinch
100 g mozzarella cheese — grated
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Method for Ragu:
Fry the pancetta/bacon gently in the olive oil until it starts to release its fat. Be careful not to let it burn.

Add the carrots, celery and onions. Sauté until the onions are transparent and the vegetables are soft. Add the beef and cook until it is lightly browned.

Add the tomato puree and then the wine. Cook until the wine evaporates completely. Add the milk, little by little until it is completely absorbed.

Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook very slowly for at least an hour but preferably two. Stir occasionally and if it looks like drying out, add a little more milk.

Spoon off any excess oil that may rise to the surface.

Method for Béchamel Sauce:
In a medium sized saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat.

Once the butter has melted completely, add the flour and stir for a couple of minutes until the flour cooks through.

Add a splash of milk and whisk to combine. Continue to add the milk a little at a time, making sure that the milk and flour amalgamate completely before adding more. Whisk thoroughly to prevent any lumps.

Once all the milk has been added, season with salt and pepper as well as a pinch of nutmeg.

Add the grated mozzarella and continue to whisk over a medium heat until the sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon.

Assembling the Lasagne:
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

In a deep rectangle oven dish, spread a quarter of the ragu. Top with a quarter of the béchamel sauce and then layer with the pasta sheets.

Continue to build lasagne in this order until you have laid the third layer of pasta sheets.

Cover with the final quarter of ragu and finish with béchamel sauce. Make sure that the final layers completely cover all the sheets of pasta.

Sprinkle the top of the lasagne with the dried oregano and an extra crack of fresh black pepper. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Take the cooked lasagne out of the oven and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Garnish with fresh basil and serve with a side salad or, if you are so inclined, chips.

Recipe reprinted with permission of The Muddled Pantry. To see more recipes, please click here.

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