Green lasagne al forno

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Green lasagne al forno

Main Serves 8 2h 45 min
As Locatelli points out, two layers of pasta does not a lasagne make. It has to be three or four or, even five, but six is too many according to Marcella Hazan. Two is basically a cottage pie with pasta rather than mash. Consistency is equally important; it shouldn't be so wet that it collapses on the plate.


for the meat sauce

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g beef mince
  • 100g bacon lardons
  • 50g chicken livers, finely chopped (optional)
  • 300ml white wine
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 12 sheets dried egg lasagne, blanched in boiling water for 1 min and drained on a clean tea towel

for the spinach and cheese sauce

  • 1 bag spinach, washed and large stalks removed
  • 75g butter
  • 75g flour
  • 1 litre milk
  • 100g Parmesan
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 2h 30 min

Make the meat sauce

  • Step 1

    In the usual way; fry the onion, celery, carrots and garlic in the oil. Brown the mince and lardons (and livers if using), add the wine, herbs, tomato purée and tomatoes, season and simmer gently for 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, blanch the spinach in a large pan of boiling water for 1 minute. Drain, plunge into a bowl of ice-cold water and drain again. Squeeze out any excess moisture and roughly chop.

Make the cheese sauce

  • Step 1

    Melt the butter and stir in the flour until it begins to go sandy but not colour. Keep stirring and gradually add the milk, beating out any lumps. Once you've added all the milk, simmer for another 5 minutes. Stir in half the cheese and season.
  • Step 2

    Remove a quarter of the sauce and place to one side, and stir the spinach into the remainder. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.

Assemble your lasagne

  • Step 1

    Spoon about one quarter of the meat sauce into a lasagne dish and add a layer of spinach sauce and a layer of pasta. Repeat until sauces and pasta are used up (hopefully via four layers) and top with the remaining white sauce and the remaining cheese sprinkled on top. Bake for half an hour, until the top is brown and bubbling.

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