Lasagne al Forno (Italian Beef Lasagna)
A classic recipe for homemade Lasagne al Forno (Italian Beef Lasagna) made entirely from scratch. There's truly nothing more comforting than a hot bubbling baked lasagna made with homemade beef ragu, bechamel sauce, silky pasta and topped with melted mozzarella cheese! This traditional Italian recipe will be a comfort food favourite.
Servings: 8 - 10 servings
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup carrot finely chopped (1 large)
- 1 cup stalk celery finely chopped (1 large)
- 1 cup white onion finely chopped (1 large)
- 1 lb ground beef (mince) (500g)
- 1 lb ground pork (mince) (500g)
- 2.5 cups sieved tomatoes tomatoes (passata) (540g)
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cups red wine (250ml)
- 6 cups beef stock (1.5 litres)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes and pepper
- 5 tbsp butter (70g)
- 5 tbsp flour all-purpose (70g)
- 4 cups full fat milk (1 litre)
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup parmesan freshly grated (70g)
- 1 tsp sea salt salt and pepper or to taste
- 1 lb fresh lasagna pasta sheets (17 oz/500g)
- 2 balls mozzarella (8 oz/250g)
Finely chop the carrot, onion and celery and saute the vegetables gently in a large frying pan with the olive oil. Once the vegetables are soft add the beef and pork mince and cook until browned.
If there is a lot of excess fat in the pan, spoon some out. Add the red wine and reduce by half.
Once the wine has reduced, add the sieved tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, 4 cups of beef stock (1 litre) and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Stir everything together and leave to simmer on a low heat for 2.5-3 hours uncovered. Add the rest of the beef stock half way through.
Add the butter to a saucepan and cook until melted and bubbling.
Add the flour to the melted butter and stir to form a paste. Let the flour cook for 1 minute.
Slowly whisk half of the milk into the butter and flour constantly whisking to avoid any lumps. Once it has started to thicken add the rest of the milk, nutmeg, parmesan and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Continue to heat the sauce whilst stirring until thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Take off the heat and set aside.
Assemble the lasagne
Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
To assemble the lasagne, spoon a small amount of ragu on the very bottom of the baking dish. Top with and even layer of lasagna pasta sheets (cut the pasta sheets to fit your baking dish).
Add a few more spoons of ragu so the pasta is completely covered followed by 2 ladels of white sauce.
Repeat the layers of pasta, ragu and bechamel sauce until everything is used up making sure to keep enough of bechamel sauce for the very top layer (you should have 4-5 layers of pasta).
Cover the top layer of the lasagne with torn mozzarella and then bake in the oven for 45minutes or until bubbling and golden.
Let it cool slightly for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- The ragu needs at least 3 hours to simmer and there's a reason for that, the flavour is incredible and you just won't get the same depth of flavour by turning the heat up or using any shortcuts.
- Don't cover the ragu as it's simmering or it won't concentrate in flavour enough. If you find the ragu has reduced and thickened too much add more water ½ cup (125ml) at a time.
- You can make the beef ragu a day or two in advance to cut the prep time down.
- I also recommend freezing beef ragu so you can thaw it overnight before making lasagne.
- I only use parmesan in the white sauce but to make it extra indulgent you can add a good strong melting cheese such as gruyere or fontina.
- If you want to make your own pasta then check out our Homemade Pasta Dough recipe.
- Does your lasagna collapse on your plate? that means you've not reduced the ragu enough. Check out the video and step by step photos for reference of how your ragu and bechamel sauce should look.
- If you want to use dried lasagna sheets then follow the packet instructions to see if you need to pre-boil them.
Calories: 753kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 740mg | Potassium: 1159mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 3158IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 417mg | Iron: 4mg