Lasagne needn’t be relegated to run of the mill weeknight food; when it comes to feeding a crowd, a hearty lasagne is ALWAYS first to be devoured.
200g pork mince
3 cloves garlic
handful of thyme leaves
5 celery sticks
400g tin of whole peeled tomatoes
5 tablespoons tomato paste
500mls stock (meat or vegetable)
salt and pepper
For the bechamel:
500mls of milk
1 cup of grated parmesan
400g fresh pasta sheets
- Finely dice the onion, carrot and celery. Mince the garlic.
- In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat.
- Add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook until tender and onion is translucent and just starting to caramelise. Add garlic and cook a further 3 minutes.
- Add both types of mince and brown with the vegetables, breaking up chunks of meat with a wooden spoon.
- Once meat has browned, add tomato paste and cook off for 5 minutes while stirring.
- Next add the tinned tomatoes and stock. Simmer sauce for at least an hour, though an hour and a half would be best. Sauce will thicken and reduce as it cooks, but don’t let it get to the chunk, dry pie filling stage.
- Make the bechamel, Take a medium pot and add the butter, place on high heat and allow to bubble and foam. Add the flour and stir until the mixture bubbles and resembles wet sand. Pour in the milk and grate in half a nutmeg. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and some black pepper.
- As the milk heats, whisk it to prevent it burning on the bottom. When the mixture begins to simmer, start whisking constantly as when it reaches full boil, it thickens and overflows easily if unattended. Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk constantly for about 3-4 minutes or until the bechamel has thickened. Set aside.
- In one (or several if you don’t have one big one) large ceramic or class baking dish measuring about 30cm by 20cm and about 5cm deep or equivalent, layer sauce, then pasta sheets (cut them into rectangles and puzzle piece them together over the sauce. End with a layer of pasta and then pour over the bechamel, spread it evenly and then sprinkle with parmesan.
- Bake at 170 degrees for 45 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.