Southern Italian Lasagna
1. First, make the Ragu. Heat the oil in a large, lidded saucepan over a medium high heat. Finely chop the onion and fry it with a generous pinch of salt for 8-10 minutes until it is soft, and just starting to colour. Crush the garlic cloves and stir them into the onions, cooking for a further minute.
2. Crumble the mince into the pan, and stir to combine. Turn the heat up to high and cook, stirring regularly until the meat has lost any pink colour and has just started to brown.
3. Reduce the heat to medium once more and stir in the tomato purée. Cook for another couple of minutes to allow the purée to caramelise.
4. Stir in the oregano and the sugar, followed by the tinned tomatoes, crushing the whole tomatoes with your hands as you add them to the pan.
5. Wash the tomato tins out with the white wine into the sauce so you don’t leave any tomato juices behind. Season well with black pepper and a little more salt.
6. Bring the Ragu to the boil before reducing to low. Allow to simmer with the lid on but slightly tilted to let out a little steam for 25 minutes.
7. Once the Ragu is done remove it from the heat and taste a little to see if it needs any more salt and pepper.
8. Whilst the Ragu is cooking, tear the fresh mozzarella (we find one ball sufficient but using two will make a super cheesy lasagna!), grate the scamorza on the largest hole of your box grater, and the parmesan on the smallest. Tip the ricotta into a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.
9. Just before you assemble the lasagna, pre-heat the oven to 180C and place a large tray or piece of foil on the bottom of the oven to catch any oil if the lasagna bubbles over — it will depend on the depth of your baking dish (ours is 30x24cm).
10. Start by spreading a thin layer of Ragu across the bottom of the dish, before topping with dried lasagne sheets. Then layer on top another layer of Ragu, a few dollops of ricotta (spread out with the back of the spoon), a handful of both scamorza and parmesan, and a few pieces of mozzarella. Keep on building layers until you build a final thick layer of Ragu and cheese, but no ricotta to form the top. Try to place the lasagne sheets in different patterns to help give the lasagna structure.
11. Bake the lasagna for 20 minutes, then place a sheet of foil loosely over the top and bake for a further 30 minutes. Remove the foil and leave the lasagna to rest for 30 minutes before slicing; this step is important to make sure the layers hold together when you plate up the slices!
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For the ragu:
- 1 tbsp light olive oil
- 1 large onion
- sea salt
- 4 garlic cloves
- 500g beef mince
- 250g pork mince
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tins san marzano tomatoes
- 150ml dry white wine
- black pepper
For the lasagna:
- 1-2 balls fresh mozzarella
- 200g scamorza
- 500g ricotta
- 100g parmesan
- ½ box dried lasagna sheets