About this recipe:This lasagne is a little time consuming to make, but the results are worth it. Lasagne sheets are layered with a ragu and ricotta cheese mix, then topped with mozzarella, before being baked to perfection. Serve with a side salad or garlic bread, if desired.
450g lasagne sheets
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 (400g) tins whole plum peeled tomatoes
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 sticks celery, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
450g minced beef
450g mild Italian sausages, removed from casing and crumbled
2 tablespoons plain flour
250ml dry red wine
4 tablespoons double cream
40g grated Parmesan cheese
1 pinch ground cinnamon
450g ricotta cheese, broken apart with a fork
3 eggs, lightly beaten
450g grated mozzarella cheese, divided
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
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Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once the water is boiling, stir in the lasagne sheets and return to the boil.
Place the tomatoes, juice and all, into a food processor and pulse to puree, about 1 minute. Set the tomatoes aside. Place the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, sage and rosemary into the food processor and pulse several times, until the vegetables are finely chopped.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat until smoking hot and add the finely chopped vegetables. Reduce heat to medium and cook and stir until the vegetables have softened and are just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, eggs, 350g grated mozzarella cheese and sea salt and pepper. Reserve 100g of mozzarella for topping.
Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a 23x33cm or similar sized baking dish with olive oil.
To make the lasagne, lay about 4 lasagne sheets in the bottom of the prepared baking dish, running the long way and slightly overlap them to cover the bottom completely.
Bake in the preheated oven until the lasagne is bubbling and the cheese is melted and lightly browned, 45 to 55 minutes. Let the lasagne stand about 5 minutes before serving.
Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink. Drizzle the cooked lasagne sheets with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil to prevent them from sticking together.
Stir in the minced beef and Italian sausagemeat and brown the meat, breaking it apart into crumbles as it cooks, about 10 minutes. When the meat is no longer pink, stir in the flour and cook and stir about 2 more minutes.
Pour in the red wine, bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the wine has reduced, about 15 minutes. Pour the pureed tomatoes, cream, Parmesan cheese and cinnamon into the meat sauce. Bring to the boil over medium heat, reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pan. Cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Set the sauce aside.
Spread 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture over the lasagne sheets and top with 1/4 of the meat sauce. Top with a second layer of lasagne sheets, running the short way. Top the second layer with 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture and 1/4 of the meat sauce as before.
Make a 3rd layer of lasagne sheets, the last third of the ricotta mixture and 1/4 of the meat sauce. Place one more layer of lasagne sheets and top with the last 1/4 of the meat sauce. Sprinkle the reserved mozzarella cheese over the top.
Most lasagne sheets nowadays do not need pre-cooking/boiling. Check with the packet instructions.