Lasagna bolognaise recipe

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A traditional Italian dish, lasagna bolognaise is a dish that is made of layers of pasta, bolognaise and white sauce (bechamel). The dish is topped with grated Parmezan cheese and then cooked in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. The lasagna can be prepared a day ahead, stored in the refrigerator and baked just before serving.
Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 60 minutes, Serves: 4 - 6 



Ingredients

For the bolognaise meat sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb (500 g) ground beef

2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup tomato puree
2 Tbsp tomato paste
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cinnamon stick

For the white sauce (bechamel sauce)
5 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp plain flour
1 cup condensed milk (substitute with 1 cup full fat milk)
3 cups full fat milk
A pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 package of lasagna pasta (use as much as it takes)

Directions

Prepare the meat sauce
In a frying pan over medium heat add the olive oil, onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occationally, until the vegetables are soft.

Add the ground beef to the pan and cook until brown on all sides, breaking up any lumps that form. This should take around 5 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, red wine vinegar, cinammon stick, oregano and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Stir well and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Make the white sauce (bechamel sauce)
While the meat sauce is cooking, prepare the white sauce. In a deep cooking pot add the butter. Place the cooking pot over medium heat and heat until the butter melts. Add the flour and stir well until it is mixed with the butter. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in the condensed milk and continue stirring until you get a smooth, pasty mixture. Continue adding a cup of milk and cook while stirring. At this stage use a wire whisk to acheive a more uniform mixture. Continue with the remaining milk, adding a cup at a time. Add the ground nutmeg, stir, taste and adjust with salt and black pepper, to taste.

Assemble the lasagna
Cover the bottom of an 8 x 11 inch oven safe baking dish (should also be at least 2 inches high) with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the meat sauce. Cover with a single layer of pasta. Top that with 1/2 of the meat sauce and about 1/4 of the bechamel sauce. Continue with another layer of pasta, the remaining of the meat sauce, 1/3 of the bechamel sauce. Finish with another layer of pasta topped with the remaining bechamel sauce and the grated parmesan cheese.

Cook in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes (check the pasta packaging for cooking time). Serve with a simple green salad.

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