From Pasta to Pancakes
Claire Peters

This is a genuine staple and a truly gorgeous dish. There are three stages to it: the meat sauce, the cheese sauce and then assembling it. Oh, and maybe eating it should be the fourth stage!


Quantity Ingredient

Meat sauce:

Quantity Ingredient
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 onion, peeled and chopped finely
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1kg lean beef mince
1 tablespoon tomato puree or ketchup
900g canned chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons butter, for greasing
1 box ready-to-cook lasagne sheets
150g cheddar cheese, grated, for the topping

Cheese sauce:

Quantity Ingredient
75g butter
75g flour
850ml milk
350g cheddar cheese, grated


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and cook the garlic, onion and chilli over a medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes until soft.
  2. Add the mince and cook on a high heat for 3–4 minutes until the mince is brown.
  3. Add the ketchup and tomatoes. Season and simmer over a low heat for at least an hour.
  4. Meanwhile make the cheese sauce. Put the butter and flour in a pan, and cook on a medium heat, stirring, for 1–2 minutes. This is called a roux and will help to thicken the sauce.
  5. Gradually whisk in the milk. Any lumps should dissolve as the milk becomes thicker. Stir for 4–5 minutes.
  6. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then add the cheese. Mix well until the cheese dissolves.
  7. Grease a large lasagne dish with butter.
  8. Then lay about 4 pasta sheets on the bottom of the dish. Break a sheet up and use the pieces to fill in the gaps – this applies all the way through.
  9. Spread 3 tablespoons of meat sauce over the pasta and repeat with the cheese sauce.
  10. Assemble your next layer of pasta over the cheese sauce and repeat the process. You should be able to assemble 3–4 layers of lasagne, depending on the size of your dish.
  11. Sprinkle the top with grated cheese.
  12. Cook in the oven for 35–45 minutes until golden brown.

Optional extras:

  • You could substitute the meat sauce with roasted vegetables to make a vegetable lasagne. Turn to the recipe for vegetarian pasta heaven for the way to cook them. If you want a bit of extra flavour, add half a teaspoon of grated nutmeg to the cheese sauce along with the milk.

Serving suggestions:

  • Serve with a delicious green salad or some garlic bread.


  • Lasagne will keep uncooked and assembled in the fridge for 2 days, so you can make it well in advance. Once cooked, it will keep in the fridge for 3 days. To reheat, place in the oven at 150°C for 15 minutes, or until piping hot. Use any leftover meat sauce for spaghetti bolognese, or shepherd’s pie. Any leftover cheese sauce could be reused in cauliflower cheese or a gooey leek gratin.
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