Whether there’s any real truth in it, they say you’re meant to ‘fuel up,’ or ‘carb load’ before a big running event. And that’s exactly what I did. The night before my last half-marathon race, I conjured up the best lasagne recipe yet.
This lasagne is honestly so tasty and satisfying. It’s the perfect dish to treat yourself if you’re after a comforting, wholesome meal – giving you plenty of leftovers for lunches or dinners throughout the week.
It’s also great to tuck in to if you’re hosting a big dinner party. I promise you, everyone will absolutely love it!
400-600g minced beef (can also use half pork mince, half beef mince)
1 large onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
1 sprig of rosemary
1 beef or vegetable stock cube, dissolved as per instructions
2 tinned tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
Splash of red wine (as you pour yourself a chef’s glass)
Dash of paprika, cayenne pepper & chilli flakes (to your heat preference)
1 bag of cavolo nero (or kale)
1 box of lasagna sheets
85g plain flour
750ml/1¼pt whole milk
2 tbsp of grated parmesan
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
For the ragu, soften the onion & garlic for 4-5 minutes on a low heat. Add the celery & carrots for 3-4 minutes. Brush the rosemary in, add the mince, turn up the heat and brown.
Once evenly browned, add the tinned tomatoes, puree and simmer for 5 minutes. Here add as much wine as you feel necessary along with the stock. Simmer down for 30 minutes at least (40 minutes if you have time).
Once thickened and off the heat, leave the flavours to stew for 10 minutes whilst you whip up your creamy homemade white sauce. If you’re pressed for time, you can start the white sauce 20 minutes into the ragu simmer time.
For the white sauce, melt the butter in a pan on a low heat before stirring in the flour. Gradually add the milk while stirring. Bring to a boil, then gently simmer while stirring constantly (to avoid lumps) and allow the sauce to thicken.
To layer the lasagne, a good rule of thumb is to spread a third of your ragu mixture at the bottom of your casserole dish. Cover with some greens, cavolo nero or kale, and a single layer of lasagne sheets. I usually have to snap a few sheets to neatly fit a single layer. Finally spoon over a layer of the white sauce on top (about a quarter of the sauce) and a sprinkling of parmesan if you wish.
Repeat these layers twice, so you end up with three layers of meat, greens, lasagne sheets and white sauce. The very top layer should be a generous serving of white sauce with grated parmesan.
Put in the oven for 1 hour until the top is lovely and crispy.