Combine a classic French sauce with an authentic Italian recipe for the perfect lasagne /

The five French sauces form the backbone to modern western cooking. A béchamel sauce is the most classic of them all and is essential in a lasagne dish

How to make béchamel sauce

Béchamel sauce is the most classic white sauce, one of the five mother sauces of French cuisine. Traditionally used as a base for other flavours, such as cheese or parsley, it is also a main component of lasagne, cauliflower cheese and fish pie.

2tbsp of butter
2tbsp of flour
​400ml of milk
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of pepper
1 pinch of nutmeg

Melt the butter in a small pan until it starts to foam. Add the flour and cook out, do not brown the flour.

Stirring all the time, gradually add the milk. Bring to the boil making sure not to let the sauce catch on the bottom of the pan.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce is too thick add a little water.

Beef and bacon lasagne by Paul Heathcote

Beef lasagne is given a boost of rich flavour with the addition of bacon in this variation by Paul Heathcote. Lasagne is a great comfort dish that will not only provide an excellent meal, but will be wonderful as leftovers for the next day. For more mouth-watering pasta recipes go to our pasta collection.

200g of beef mince
​200g of lasagne pasta
50g of streaky bacon
​100g of onion, chopped
50g of carrots, chopped
50g of celery, chopped
50g of tomato purée
1 pinch of cornflour, dissolved in a tsp of water
1 garlic clove, bruised
2/3 handful of fresh marjoram
​100g of mushrooms, sliced
​250ml of béchamel sauce
25g of cheddar, grated
Butter for greasing
1tbsp of oil
Salt to season

Place the lasagne sheets in a pan of salted water and gently simmer to cooking timings (as advised on pack). Once cooked, refresh the sheets in cold water and drain on a cloth​. Gently heat the oil in a thick-bottomed pan, add the bacon and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery to the pan and cover with a lid, cook for 5 minutes.

Add the minced beef, increase the heat and stir until lightly brown.​ Remove from the heat and mix in the tomato purée.

Return to the heat and add in the cornflour/water mix. Add the garlic, salt, pepper and marjoram and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Then remove the garlic.

Mix in the mushrooms, bring back to the boil and cook for 2 minutes and then remove from the heat​. Butter an ovenproof dish and cover the bottom with a layer of the meat sauce. Add a layer of lasagne. Repeat the last two steps twice until all the meat sauce is used, then cover with the béchamel sauce​. Sprinkle the top with the grated cheddar cheese, cover the dish with a lid and place in an oven set to 190C (gas mark 5) for approximately 20 minutes. Remove the lid, cook for a further 15 minutes and serve.

Guide by Great British Chefs. Visit their website for more delicious sauce recipes