Jamie Oliver’s Good Old Lasagne

Here’s a little secret: I’ve never made lasagne before.

Of course I wasn’t just going to wing it for my first try, so I did a bit of research on one of my favourite sites; Jamie Oliver’s website. He’s got a number of lasagne recipes on there, but this one tickled my fancy as it seemed the most traditional, and the ingredients would be easy to find at my local grocer.

Make no mistake, lasagne is a massive undertaking. This recipe took about 3 hours in total. But jeez Louise, it was so worth it! It came out absolutely perfect and tasted better than any lasagne I had ever had before. No jokes.

Who’s hungry? Vincent and Roan. Yes, I made this ridiculously laborious dish for just two people (with the intention of feeding them leftover lasagne for the next three days — and I did!)

Ingredients

For the lasagne & bolognese filling

  • 300 g dry lasagne sheets
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 250 g mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • a bunch of fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • a bunch of fresh basil, torn (chop some stems quite finely)
  • 200 g rindless streaky bacon, diced or cut into thin strips
  • 500 g lean beef mince
  • 2 x 400 g tins of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 300 g cheddar cheese, grated
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

For the white sauce

  • 600 ml full cream milk
  • sprig of fresh parsley
  • 10 ml grated nutmeg
  • 10 ml ground black pepper
  • 35 g unsalted butter
  • 50 g cake wheat flour
  • 75 g parmesan cheese, grated or shavings

Prep time

Chop, slice and dice until you’re ready for action. Get a big gulp of wine early on in the game, because it’s going to be a marathon. I had a glass of Namaqua’s Cab Sauv.

Get cooking, good looking

Fry the bacon in some oil until the fatty ends are golden and it smells like breakfast time.

Add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, mushrooms and thyme and cook for about 10 minutes.

Once the onions look translucent and the mushies have softened, add the mince.

Add the canned tomatoes. Stir really well, breaking the tomatoes with the wooden spoon.

Fill the two empty tomato cans with water and add that to the pot, too.

Add the wine, basil and season well with salt & pepper.

Give it a good stir while bringing it to the boil.

Then reduce the heat to low again and let it simmer with the lid ajar for about 1 and a half hours (or longer), allowing the watery sauce to reduce considerably.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius while you wait.

Make the white sauce

When the bolognese filling has thickened to your liking, turn the heat off and start making your white sauce. Add the milk, parsley, nutmeg and pepper to a pot and bring it to the boil.

Then strain it and let the milk cool down a bit.

Melt the butter in a pan over low heat and then mix in the flour, stirring in 1 splash of milk at a time to make a smooth roux.

Add more milk if necessary, and stir in the parmesan cheese at the end. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Layer your lasagne

First, lay down a foundation of bolognese sauce in a large oven dish. Use about a third of the mincy mixture for each layer.

Then add a layer of lasagne sheets, neatly packed next to one another, not overlapping too much. Now poor white sauce over the lasagne sheet layer and smooth it out with the back of a spoon.

I sprinkled some cheddar cheese on top of each layer of white sauce, but you can leave it all for the top if you prefer.

Repeat the layering process three times, ending off with white sauce on top, and heaps of grated cheddar. Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, too.

Cover the dish with tin foil and pop it in the oven for 20 minutes.

Take it out of the oven and remove the tin foil.

Now add more grated cheese (yes, more!) and set the oven to grill. Put it back in, uncovered this time, for about 30 minutes or until it starts bubbling at the edges.

Finally, food’s ready!

What a beauty!

I’m sad to say I was so spent after this cooking session that I didn’t even take a photo of an actual piece of lasagne on a plate. There’s always next time!

Get my printable recipe here:

Spaghetti Bolognese

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: relatively easy, but great effort is required
  • Print

I'll be frank. This is the best lasagne I have ever tasted. The only downfall is that it takes a lot of effort and you're in for a long haul in the kitchen. It's completely worth it though, I promise!

For the lasagne & bolognese filling

  • 300 g dry lasagne sheets
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 250 g mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • a bunch of fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • a bunch of fresh basil, torn (chop some stems quite finely)
  • 200 g rindless streaky bacon, diced or cut into thin strips
  • 500 g lean beef mince
  • 2 x 400 g tins of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 300 g cheddar cheese, grated
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

For the white sauce

  • 600 ml full cream milk
  • sprig of fresh parsley
  • 10 ml grated nutmeg
  • 10 ml ground black pepper
  • 35 g unsalted butter
  • 50 g cake wheat flour
  • 75 g parmesan cheese, grated or shavings

Directions

  1. Chop, slice and dice your ingredients until you’re ready for action. Get a big gulp of wine early on in the game, because it’s going to be a marathon.
  2. Fry the bacon in some oil until the fatty ends are golden and it smells like breakfast time.
  3. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, mushrooms and thyme and cook for about 10 minutes.
  4. Once the onions look translucent and the mushies have softened, add the mince.
  5. Add the canned tomatoes. Stir really well, breaking the tomatoes with the wooden spoon.
  6. Fill the two empty tomato cans with water and add that to the pot, too.
  7. Add the wine, basil and season well with salt & pepper. Give it a good stir while bringing it to the boil.
  8. Then reduce the heat to low again and let it simmer with the lid ajar for about 1 and a half hours (or longer), allowing the watery sauce to reduce considerably.
  9. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius while you wait.
  10. When the bolognese filling has thickened to your liking, turn the heat off and start making your white sauce. Add the milk, parsley, nutmeg and pepper to a pot and bring it to the boil. Then strain it and let the milk cool down a bit.
  11. Melt the butter in a pan over low heat and then mix in the flour, stirring in 1 splash of milk at a time to make a smooth roux.
  12. Add more milk if necessary, and stir in the parmesan cheese at the end. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  13. Layer the lasagne in a deep oven dish. First, lay down a foundation of bolognese sauce in a large oven dish. Use about a third of the mincy mixture for each layer.
  14. Then add a layer of lasagne sheets, neatly packed next to one another, not overlapping too much. Now poor white sauce over the lasagne sheet layer and smooth it out with the back of a spoon.
  15. I sprinkled some cheddar cheese on top of each layer of white sauce, but you can leave it all for the top if you prefer.
  16. Repeat the layering process three times, ending off with white sauce on top, and heaps of grated cheddar. Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, too.
  17. Cover the dish with tin foil and pop it in the oven for 20 minutes.
  18. Take it out of the oven and remove the tin foil.
  19. Now add more grated cheese (yes, more!) and set the oven to grill. Put it back in, uncovered this time, for about 30 minutes or until it starts bubbling at the edges.
  20. Let it cool a bit then slice into big squares and serve. Add a dollop of chutney on the side for a cool, zesty addition to every bite.

5 thoughts on “Jamie Oliver’s Good Old Lasagne

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