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Lasagne all’Emiliana / Emilia Romagna-style Lasagne

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

by Lawrence Dallaglio from ‘My Italian Family Cookbook: Recipes from three generations’ (Simon & Schuster)

Photography: Ruth Jenkinson & Steve Baxter

I can cook this dish with my eyes shut. It originates in the Emilia Romagna region of northern Italy, where my father was born, and has been handed down through generations of Dallaglios. You need nothing more than a mixed green salad tossed in a simple dressing to go with it.

Serves 4-6

Prep time: 30 mins

Cooking time: around 1hr 50 mins


500g lean beef mince

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

1 celery stick, finely chopped

400g can chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato purée

300ml hot beef stock

100ml red wine

2 bay leaves

1 pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper

25g butter

1 tbsp plain flour

400ml skimmed milk

1 tsp nutmeg, to season

6 dried lasagne sheets

50g freshly grated Parmesan cheese


In a large pan, brown the mince in batches. Use a wooden spoon to press it down and break it up into bits as it starts to colour. Transfer the mince to a bowl. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan, and cook for 15 mins until softened and starting to turn golden.

Put the mince back into the pan and add the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, hot stock, wine and bay leaves. Season well. Cover and bring to the boil, then remove the lid and simmer for 45 mins until the sauce has reduced and thickened.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 min. Add the milk slowly, stirring all the time to make a sauce. Cook for 1-2 mins until slightly thickened. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan oven/gas mark 6. Put a third of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 1.2 litre ovenproof dish. Top with two lasagne sheets, a third of the white sauce and a third of the cheese.

Repeat the process until all the lasagne sheets and ingredients have been used. Cook in the oven for 30-40 mins until bubbling and golden and heated through.

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