Ragu before oven
Ragu after oven
White sauce

From: originally from
Serves 8.

Note: this recipe has distinct stages: a) fry the ingredients for the ragu (takes about 30 minutes), b) cook the resulting ragu in the oven (takes 3 to 4 hours), c) make the white sauce and the pasta (can be done while the ragu is cooking) and d) assemble the lasagne.  Only THEN do you e) cook the lasagne, which takes about 45 minutes.  Stages (a) to (d) can be done the day before, giving you flexibility in how you go about things.

Note: you will need a frying pan, a large saucepan and two large roasting tins, though you could get away with one large roasting tin if you decant stuff and wash it between stages.  The roasting tin should be at least 7 cm deep and about 25 x 30 cm.  If you're making the pasta yourself you'll also need a pasta maker.

Note: serve with a green salad with vinaigrette dressing to cut through the stodge.



  1. Preheat the oven to 140 C, gas mark 1.
  2. Fry the onion in some olive oil over a medium heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the pancetta and garlic to the frying pan and cook for a further five minutes then decant this into a roasting tin (this roasting tin doesn't have to be 7 cm deep).
  4. Add more olive oil to the frying pan, turn the heat up high and brown the minced beef then add this to the roasting tin.
  5. Repeat step (3) for the minced pork.
  6. Repeat step (3) for the chicken livers.
  7. Now put the roasting tin with all the stuff in it over the heat and mix everything together.
  8. Add the tins of tomatoes, tomato purée, red wine, salt, pepper, grate in half of half a nutmeg and bring to a simmer.
  9. Tear up the leaves of half the basil and add them to the mixture.
  10. Place the mixture in the centre of the oven for 3 to 4 hours; the aim here is to remove most of the moisture from the mixture, making a good solid sauce. While the ragu is cooking, make the white sauce as follows.
  11. Put the 110 gm flour and 175 gm butter into a large pan and melt them together.
  12. Slowly add the milk and bring to a boil so that the mixture starts to thicken.
  13. Simmer while stirring for 10 minutes.
  14. Grate the remainder of the half a nutmeg into the white sauce.
  15. Season the white sauce to taste.
  16. Put the white sauce to one side to cool until you can stick your finger in it.
  17. Beat the eggs with the cream and add this to the white sauce.
  18. When the ragu is out of the oven, rip up and add to it the rest of the basil leaves and check seasoning.
  19. Turn the oven up to 180 C, gas mark 4.
  20. If making your own pasta, make a dough using the 300 gm plain flour and 3 eggs, ensuring that it is not wet to the touch once finished; form into sheets according to your pasta maker's instructions with the sheet thickness set to the thinnest (in my case number 9).
  21. Grease the 7 cm deep roasting tin.
  22. Spread a quarter of the ragu over the base of the 7 cm deep roasting tin.
  23. Cover this with a fifth of the white sauce and a layer (~6 sheets) of lasagne.
  24. Perform steps (22) and (23) three more times and then add a final final layer of the white sauce on top.
  25. Sprinkle parmesan over the top.
  26. Cook on the top shelf of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until it turns golden on top; if it is not brown on top after 50 minutes then consider switching to grill for 5 minutes.

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