Lasagna recipes are widely available but how to make the best?? I think I’ve come pretty close! ( bragging mode off)
Is nearly good enough?
A good and authentic lasagna is hard to find, I’ve tried an awful lot of different ones and there was always something missing. Once on a trip to Italy I’ve had a whole conversation about Lasagna with some real Italian mamas. When I told them how I made mine they said I nearly did it the right way.
But nearly isn’t good enough is it?
The secret ingredient…
The ingredient missing according to the mamas was one I never could have guessed! I could not believe it would be good. Deciding to trust those sweet and helpful Italian ladies I gave it a go anyway and there it was: THE PERFECT LASAGNA!!
The ingredient? Chicken liver! Trust me on this one, even if you don’t like to eat chicken liver, it gives your dish a velvety creamy texture without the typical liver taste. Of course you can omit it but humour me and try it you won’t be disappointed!!
This is not a quick recipe but it’s totally worth your time and effort. Warning: you might never try a different recipe EVER again!
Do you love Italian dishes? Try my Pork in Tarragon cream sauce!
Lasagna the best ever!
- For the meat sauce:
- 30 grams butter
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 cellery stalk, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 120 grams pancetta streaky bacon will work too if you can't get pancetta
- 500 grams ground beef
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 90 grams chicken liver, very finely chopped maybe even put it in the blender for a little bit
- 75 ml dry white wine
- 350 ml beef stock, made with stock cube
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tbsp double cream
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- For the white sauce:
- 65 grams butter
- 40 grams flour
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 600 ml milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 125 ml double cream
- To assemble:
- 100 grams fresh lasagne sheets
- 150 grams grated mozzarella
- 60 grams grated parmesan cheese
Heat the butter for the meat sauce in a large frying pan and cook the onion, garlic, carrot, celeriac and pancetta until tender and lightly browned. Add ground beef. Turn up the heat and fry until lightly browned, loose and cooked.
Add oregano and chicken liver and cook until browned. Poor in white wine and cook until all fluid is evaporated. Add in tomato puree and beef stock. On low heat let simmer for about 2 hours. Keep an eye on it occasionally if it gets to dry add a little bit of water but make sure that all the fluid is gone at the end of the cooking time.
For the white sauce melt butter on low heat. Add flour and nutmeg and cook whilst stirring continuously for about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and gradually stir in te milk. ( a whisk works best). Add the bay leave and salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat back on and keep stirring until the sauce is thick. Cover with cling film ( this way you will not get a skin on top) and set aside.
Add cream to meat sauce, stir to combine. Turn of the heat and let cool down for about 15 minutes. Stir in the egg.
Take bay leaf out of the white sauce and reheat sauce slowly. Stir in cream. Turn off heat and let cool down for a little bit. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a large oven dish with butter.
Place half of the meat sauce in the oven dish. Place half of the mozzarella on top and cover with lasagne sheets. Put half of the white sauce on top and sprinkle with half of the parmesan cheese. Cover with more lasagne sheets and repeat the two steps. End with a layer of white sauce sprinkled with parmesan cheese.
Bake lasagne in the pre heated oven for about 40 minutes. Let cool down for about 10 minutes before serving.
There are really no short cuts in this recipe. Please don't change the times because it will taste really different.