by Ed Halmagyi


  • 2 brown onions, finely diced
  • 2 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • 650g premium beef mince
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1L beef stock
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • salt flakes and freshly-milled black pepper
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup plain flour
  • 600ml hot milk
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup simple pasta sauce
  • 400g dried instant lasagne sheets
  • 250g mozzarella, grated


1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Set a large saucepan over a moderate heat and sauté the onions, celery and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes, until well-softened. Add the herbs, then add the beef mince and sauté briefly. Mix in the tomato paste and cook until the mixture begins to catch on the base, then pour in the red wine to de-glaze.
2 Add the stock and tomatoes, then simmer for 1½ hours, until tender and thick. Season with salt and pepper.
3 Put the butter and flour in a medium saucepan and set over a moderate heat. Cook until the mixture resembles wet sand, then whisk in the milk and nutmeg. Simmer until thickened, then season with salt and pepper.
4 Pour the pasta sauce into the bottom of 30cm x 22cm baking dish, then arrange a layer of lasagne sheets on top. Spread béchamel sauce on top, then a layer of the meat ragu. Sprinkle with cheese, then continue layers until all the ingredients are used up, finishing with cheese.
5 Bake for 40 minutes covered with aluminium foil, then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.

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