Monday, August 17, 2009

Favourite Recipes: Neil Perry's Lasagne

Welcome to the first instalment of this new segment: Favourite Recipes. Most of the recipes I share on this blog are ones I like to cook over and over again, so you've probably already seen a lot of my faves...but here's a newie to the list.

I've sung the praises of Neil Perry many times. I've cooked many of his dishes and am yet to have a fail; and last night's effort was no exception. Here is the recipe for Neil's Best Ever Lasagne from his wonderful Good Food cookbook.

Is it the best lasagne I've ever had? Hmmm...I think Stephanie Alexander's recipe may just have the edge. BUT it's simple and relatively quick...and, for me, that scores extra points. It's a tasty, fantastic dish for the whole family...give it a go!

Oh, and if you'd like to share your Favourite Recipe, email

Serves 6

9 lasagne sheets
500g fresh mozzarella- torn
100g freshly grated parmesan

Meat sauce
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion- finely chopped
6 garlic cloves - finely chopped
300g pork mince
300g veal mince
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tsp. plain (all-purpose) flour
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
pinch of caster sugar
700ml tomato passata
400g tinned diced tomatoes
1 large handful basil leaves

bechamel sauce
50g unsalted butter
2 tbsp. plain flour
600ml milk
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

what to do
  1. Take a 23 x 29 x 7 cm lasagne dish.Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.
  2. For the meat sauce, heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, but not browned. Add the garlic and cook till fragrant.
  3. Increase the heat to medium-high and add both of the meats and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, breaking the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon for about 4 minutes, or until the meat loses its raw colour but has not browned. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 2 minutes, then pour in the vinegar and stir occasionally till it has almost evaporated.
  4. Add the sugar and passata and diced tomatoes and allow the sauce to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until it reduces and has started to thicken slightly. Season. Stir through the basil leaves and set the sauce aside.
  5. To make the bechamel, melt the butter in a saucepan over low-medium heat. Add the flour to the butter and stir constantly over the heat, for 1 - 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the milk all at once, whisking constantly to avoid any lumps. Return the pan to the heat and continue to whisk constantly, until the sauce boils and thickens. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
  6. To asemble, spread one quarter of the meat sauce at the bottom of the lasagne dish. Place 3 of the lasagne sheets over the sauce. Spread another quarter of the sauce over the lasagne, followed by 1/3 of the mozarella. Continue to layer the lasagne sheets, sauce and mozarella two more times. Pour the bechamel over the final layer of mozzarella, then sprinkle evenly with the parmesan.
  7. Cook the lasagne for 30 minutes, or until the cheese has browned and the sauce is bubbling. Remove the lasagne from the oven and let it stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
  8. Serve with a simple green salad...enjoy!


stepforddreams said...

I think the first thing I ever learnt to cook as a kid was lasagne, always a winner in my house. Though I did OD on it a bit so we are having a break!

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious, haven't even had breakfast yet but feel like lasagna now! Might have to make this on the weekend.
I've always found leaving the bolognese overnight before making the lasagna makes it even tastier.

Margie said...

I do love lasagne, no so much a fan of pork or veal, is it ok with just beef?
Might give this a whirl before winter is over.

Amanda said...

There is no such thing as too much lasagne and, James, I'm with you - always better on Day 2.

Margie, I actually made it with beef as it was a bit spur-of-the-moment and that's what I had in the was goooooooooooood

Anonymous said...

Here's a tried and tested beef only bolognase which works very well for lasagna (and has lots of veggies for the kids):

1 kg minced beef
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
250g mushrooms, wiped and sliced
2 Tbs oil
1 red capsicum
3 sticks of celery chopped
1 can peeled tomatoes, chopped
3 Tbs tomato puree
3 Tbs dry sherry
1 beef stock cube
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp sugar
2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste

Cook onions and garlic gently in oil until soft. Add meat, mushrooms, turn up the heat and cook, stirring until meat browns. Add remaining ingredients, the tomatoes chopped, and simmer gently for an hour.

Amanda said...

I hope you'll share your fave recipe with us as a 'proper' segment, James...I have a feeling you have some beauties up your sleeve...

Angela said...

I always add a grated carrot and zucchini to mince dishes to pad it out and vegie up the kids :)

Zitlife said...

[...] As I keep saying, just buy Good Food – it’s a great book; every recipe is a winner. Saves faffing around [...]

Kristin said...

For the most part I don't love to cook, but for some reason lasagne doesn't bother me. This recipe sounds delish!

Renee said...

yummo! Lasagne is my favourite meal ever! And this one looks pretty damn good. Thanks for sharing