Italian Cooking: Hearty Beef Lasagne


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A favourite from my teenage years, and always one of the most comforting dishes ever — a hearty beef lasagne oozing with creamy ricotta cheese,  and mozzarella browned in the oven to crispy perfection. As they say, cheese is life.

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I’ve been making this dish since I was 17, so it’s really something of a go-to when we feel like something filling and meaty.

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And it’s really simple, and super great for parties too. You can prepare this in about an hour and it keeps for 2-3 days in the fridge.

Here’s what you’ll need:

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– 500g minced beef
– 1 can tomato paste
– 1 can tomato purée
– 1 tin of Italian plum tomatoes
– beef or chicken stock
– ricotta cheese crumble
– shredded mozzarella cheese
– 9-10 lasagne sheets
– 2 white onions
– garlic
– salt/pepper

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We begin with frying up the onion and garlic in some olive oil in a heated saucepan. When browned, add in the minced beef and cook over low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Next, add in the tomato paste, purée and plum tomatoes and mix.

When the gravy starts to thicken, add chicken stock to thin it. Then sprinkle some black pepper and Italian herbs to taste.

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Basically, you want to get it to this consistency and we’re good to go. Your beef sauce is now ready.

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Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celsius.

Now comes the fun part! The layering in the casserole dish.

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Begin with a generous layer of beef sauce, followed by a layer of three lasagne noodles sheets. Don’t worry about cooking them beforehand. It will cook in the beef sauce later when in the oven.

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Then a layer of ricotta cheese. Before adding another layer of beef sauce and lasagne noodle. Repeat for another 2-3 layers as desired.

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The important thing to note is to make sure you have enough beef sauce to coat all the layers of lasagne noodles. If you’re finding the casserole dish a little dry, add more sauce, or some chicken stock to make sure everything cooks through.

Finally top it off with a generous helping of shredded mozzarella. And then pop it into the preheated oven at 150 degrees celsius for about 30-35 minutes or until the top browns. Keep an eye on it, because all ovens are different. And you’ll need to make sure it doesn’t burn.

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And here’s the final result! Doesn’t it look absolutely mouthwatering?

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This beef lasagne goes great with a refreshing side salad, and a soup.

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But if you want to save the remainder for another day, all you have to do is make sure you sprinkle a little hot water over the refrigerated portion before microwaving and it’ll be as delicious as when it first came out of the oven.

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