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Ultimate lasagne

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Adjust Servings:
1/2 tbsp olive oil
500g beef mince (5% fat)
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 red onion, finely diced
2 rashers smoked bacon, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 tsp celery salt
1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1/2 tbsp tomato purée
200ml beef stock
1 tsp cranberry sauce
8 cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 dried bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
8-10 dried wholewheat lasagne sheets
1 courgette, cut into rings
25g plain flour
25g butter
400ml semi-skimmed milk
1 dried bay leaf
Pinch of nutmeg
75g cheddar cheese (50% lighter), grated
1 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated, to sprinkle

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Ultimate lasagne

This might just be the tastiest – and healthiest – lasagne I've ever eaten. You lose nothing by using 5% beef mince and reduced fat cheddar cheese, plus adding lean bacon to the ragu adds an incredible smokiness and richness. Hiding a layer of courgettes beneath wholemeal lasagne sheets helps to keep the ragu moist and also means you can save all the cheese sauce for the top to guarantee extra crispy bits!

    • 2 hours
    • Serves 4
    • Medium




    1. For the ragu, heat one teaspoon of olive oil over a medium-high heat in a large frying pan and add the beef mince. Break it up with your spoon and brown (for about 5 minutes) until there are no more pink bits. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon and set aside.

    2. Pour the remaining oil into the pan and toss in the onion and carrots. Sauté gently for 10-15 minutes or until softened and starting to colour.

    3. Increase the heat and add the bacon. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the fat has rendered out and the edges are starting to crisp.

    4. Stir in the garlic, celery salt and fresh rosemary and cook for 1 minute more.

    5. Return the mince to the pan and pour in the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée and beef stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and stir in the cranberry sauce, cherry tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, oregano and basil.

    6. Cook gently over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until the ragu has thickened. Season to taste, discard the bay leaf, and set aside.

    7. For the white sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the flour and cook out for 1 minute to remove the raw taste. Stir in the nutmeg and bay leaf, then gradually whisk in the milk and cook gently for 5-10 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat, stir in the cheddar cheese and season to taste.

    8. To layer the lasagne, place one third of the ragu into the base of a shallow ovenproof dish. Arrange one layer of lasagne sheets on top, followed by all the courgette rings. Top with another third of the ragu, followed by the rest of the lasagne sheets. Evenly distribute the remaining ragu on top, then cover completely with the cheese sauce.

    9. Sprinkle over the parmesan cheese and place in a preheated oven at 190C for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown on top, bubbling around the edges and the pasta is soft.

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