Easy Biker Lasagne
Lasagne has become a British classic. It’s on nearly every pub menu and it’s certainly a favourite of ours. We’ve even been known to enjoy it with chips! Over the years we’ve made lasagne with meatballs, fish, everything but the kitchen sink, but now we’ve gone back to basics. This new recipe has a simple meat sauce and no need to make a béchamel – we use plenty of ricotta cheese instead. If you’re cooking for two, you could make the full amount of sauce and stash some in the freezer for another time. Then just halve the rest of the ingredients.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 3 celery sticks, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 750g minced beef
- 250ml red wine
- 600g canned tomatoes
- 1 tbsp ground oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- sea salt and black pepper
- 9 dried lasagne sheets
- 300g ricotta
- 400g mozzarella
- 100g Parmesan, grated bunch of basil, shredded, a few whole reserved for the top
First make the meat sauce. Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large pan and add the onions, celery and carrots. Cook over a gentle heat until the onions are translucent and soft, then add the garlic and cook for a further 3–4 minutes.
Add the remaining oil to a large frying pan. Fry the beef, leaving it until a brown crust has developed on the underside before breaking it up and turning it over. It’s best to do this in a few batches – if you crowd the pan the meat will stew in its own juices instead of searing.
Add the beef to the vegetables, then turn the heat up high and add the red wine. Boil until the wine is reduced by at least half, then add the tomatoes and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Bring back to the boil, then turn down the heat, cover and simmer for an hour. Remove the lid and continue to simmer, stirring regularly, until the sauce has reduced down – this will probably take another 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. To assemble the lasagne, spread a third of the meat sauce in the base of a rectangular ovenproof dish, large enough for 3 sheets of lasagne. Cover with lasagne sheets and then add another third of the meat sauce. Spoon 100g of the ricotta in teaspoons over the sauce. Add 100g of the mozzarella and a few basil leaves.
Add another layer of pasta and repeat with the same quantities of meat sauce and cheeses. Top with a final layer of pasta, the remaining meat sauce, mozzarella and ricotta, then sprinkle the Parmesan on top.
Bake in the oven for 45–50 minutes until the pasta is cooked through and the top is a rich dark brown and bubbling. Remove the lasagne from the oven and leave it to stand for at least 10 minutes before cutting.