Man-size Lasagne

200gms butter

2-2¼ pints whole milk

5 heaped tablespoons flour

400gms grated gruyere cheese

Chunk of parmesan to grate over the top

Two packs of lasagne sheets

First, make the bolognaise. I find the best thing to do is either make it early, or even the day before. Less hassle. But there are no rules, so long as you’ve given the bolognaise a nice long cooking time. Set to one side to cool.

When you’re ready to make the white sauce, make sure you have everything to hand, cheese grated, milk out of the fridge, and so on.

Also, you’ll need a large non-stick saucepan, and a good whisk First melt the butter over a medium heat, and when it’s almost melted, add the flour, spoonful at a time, and stirring all the while. Once all the flour has been added, stir for about a minute or so. The mixture will look like a bubbling mass of sand. The posh name for this is a ‘roux’. (If anyone asks how you made your white sauce, you can do a bit of showing off and say, ‘well you just start with your basic roux…’) Cook for about 30 seconds or so, add a little of the milk. Use the whisk at this point, and don’t worry if it looks lumpy and awful, it’s supposed to. Just add a little more milk, and whisk it in.

Keep whisking and add the rest of the milk a little at a time (any lumps should have all disappeared, but if they haven’t, don’t worry they will once the sauce starts to boil).

So keep stirring, and you’ll notice the sauce start to thicken as it gets hotter.

Remember, you want a rich creamy sauce at pouring consistency, and the cheese will thicken it further, so if you feel at this point it’s starting to look a little thick, add a little more milk. Once the sauce has come to the boil, take it off the heat, and add the cheese.

DON’T PUT IT BACK ON THE HEAT – just stir the cheese through. Once the cheese has melted, taste it, and season. Lovely, thick creamy cheesy sauce.

Now to assemble the lasagne. Get a large, deep-sided oven proof dish, and I mean large. I usually use a deep-sided oven tray!

If you’ve made the bolognaise the day before or earlier, you may need to add a drop of boiling water just to loosen it up. If not, just give it a good stir.

First spoon in some of the bolognaise, enough to cover the bottom of the tray. Then take the pasta sheets and place them side by side covering the meat sauce – you may need to play around snapping off bits of pasta sheets to fit.

Next spoon over the cheese sauce, enough to cover, and repeat the process twice more and add some grated parmesan on top.

You can cook this straight away, or about an hour before you’re ready to serve, as with most things it’s better to let it sit and just cool slightly before eating. Either way you’ll need to put it into a pre-heated oven at 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4 for about 35 minutes.

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