When a normal lasange just isn’t good enough to satisfy your needs, this one boasts a different flavour than the traditional. The all round idea of layering minced meat, bechamel sauce and pasta sheets, still stays the same, but its the ingredients within the ragu which is a game changer.
The middle eastern spice mix of harissa adds an aromatic and spicy flavour to this dish, combined with the use of tomato passata rather than chopped tomatoes, adds a more concentrate flavour. And just to be different I decided to create a circular lasagne instead of a traditional rectangle.
- 750g Beef Mince
- 2 Heaped Tbsp Harissa Paste
- 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Carrots (Finely Chopped)
- 1 Medium Onion (Finely Chopped)
- 2 Garlic Cloves (Crushed)
- 250ml Red Wine
- 500g Tomato Passata
- 200ml Beef Stock
- Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Litre Whole Milk
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 50g Unsalted Butter
- 50g Plain Flour
- 14 Sheets Lasagne Pasta
- 3 x125g Mozzarella (Cut Into Cubes)
- Large Handful Of Grated Parmesan
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- For the ragu, heat the olive oil in a large pan over a low heat and fry the carrots and onion for approximately 15 minutes, until softened and golden. Add the garlic and fry for two more minutes. Add the harissa paste and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
- In a separate pan add the beef mince over a medium heat and cook until they’re are no more pink/ uncooked bits. Once cooked drain the excess fat and add the mince into the pan with the onions, garlic, carrots and harissa.
- Pour in the red wine and stir well. Cook for approximately 20 minutes over a low heat.
- Once the wine has evaporated, add the passata and stock. Leave the mixture uncovered to cook slowly for a further 30 minutes. Top up with more warm stock if necessary. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- To make the béchamel sauce, in a separate saucepan melt the butter and add the flour. Beat well and cook for two minutes. Gradually add the milk to the flour mixture, whisking continuously as you go. Combine well, and when all the milk has been absorbed, add a little more. Continue to do this until all the milk has been added.
- Add the bay leaf and nutmeg to the béchamel sauce and leave to simmer whilst you prepare the rest of the dish.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.
- For the lasagne, blanch the pasta in salted boiling water for three minutes. Once done set aside.
- Spoon a third of the bechamel sauce into the bottom of a dish/ oven proof pan in a layer, then place some of the pasta strips over the top. Follow this with some of the mozzarella and parmesan, and sprinkle over freshly ground black pepper. Follow with a layer of ragu. Repeat this step twice until all the ingredients have been used up. Finish the top with the greater parmesan and a final sprinkling of mozzarella.
- Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and completely cooked through.