A good lasagne should be a nice balance of tender pasta, rich meat sauce and creamy béchamel. Whether you like yours on the firmer side, so it is easy to cut and serve in squares, or slightly saucier, is a matter of personal taste. The beauty of a recipe like this is that you can make it your own by tweaking things.

How to make lasagne

Our lasagne filling takes inspiration from a classic Italian ragu which uses a mix of pork, beef and veal mince (though you can just use beef if that’s what you have). The pancetta adds a little smoky note and a bit of extra fat for a richer sauce. We’ve made our lasagne extra indulgent by topping with mozzarella as well as parmesan though just parmesan on its own will be fine too.

Check out our beef cannelloni for another comforting pasta bake, or for meat-free options browse our collection of vegetarian lasagne recipes.


  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 70g cubetti pancetta
  • olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250g minced beef
  • 250g minced veal or pork
  • 250ml white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 100ml milk
  • 1 bunch basil, chopped
  • 6-9 sheets depending on size lasagne
  • 1 ball mozzarella, chopped
  • 50g grated parmesan


  • 100g butter
  • 80g flour
  • 850ml milk
  • 1 bayleaf
  • nutmeg


  • STEP 1

    Put the carrot, celery, onions and pancetta in a small slug of olive oil in a large pan and cook gently for 10 minutes, or until the onion softens and the pancetta fat melts. Add the garlic and stir. Scoop the mixture onto a plate, leaving as much fat behind as possible.

  • STEP 2

    Put the pan back on the heat and add the beef mince, stir and fry until it is browned, then tip onto the plate again leaving behind the fat. Add the pork or veal mince and brown it in the same way. Tip the beef and veg back into the pan and add the white wine and bay leaf, bubble everything up and stir in the tomato purée. Add the tomatoes, season well and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 45 minutes – after 35 minutes add the milk and leave the lid off. If the sauce is too thin, bubble it until it thickens a little. Season and remove the bay leaf.

  • STEP 3

    To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a medium pan and stir in the flour and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the milk a little at a time over a low heat and then bring the mixture to a simmer. Keep stirring and cooking until the béchamel thickens, then cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, add the bay leaf and stir every now and then. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, then remove the bay leaf.

  • STEP 4

    Stir the basil into the meat sauce. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.

  • STEP 5

    Spoon a thin layer of béchamel into the base of a large ovenproof dish, and add a couple of spoonfuls of meat sauce. Add a layer of lasagne sheets, a layer of béchamel, then meat and lasagne, and repeat with a little béchamel and the remaining meat and pasta. Pour the remaining béchamel over the top and scatter over the mozzarella and parmesan. Cook for 40 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through. Sit for 10 mins before serving.

More lasagne ideas below:

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