Serves: 6 – 8 people
Preparation: 1 Hour
Cooking Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot (about 100g/4oz) finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 140g pack cubetti di pancetta
- 1Kg Goat mince
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 beef stock cubes
- 500ml red wine
- 400g dried pasta sheets
- 50g parmesan, finely grated
- 13/4 Litres milk
- 1 onion, thickly sliced
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 cloves
- 100g butter
- 100g plain flour
- good grating of nutmeg
- First infuse the milk to make the béchamel sauce. Pour in 1 ½ litres milk, 1 thickly sliced onion, 3 bay leaves and 3 cloves into a large saucepan and bring very gently just up to the boil. Turn off the heat and set aside for 1 hr to infuse.
- For the meat sauce, put the 3 tbsp oil, 2 finely chopped celery sticks, 1 finely chopped onion, 1 finely chopped carrot, 3 crushed garlic cloves and 140g cubed pancetta in another large saucepan. Gently cook together until the veg are soft but not coloured.
- Tip in 1Kg Goat mince, remaining 250ml milk and 2 cans of chopped tomatoes. Using a wooden spoon, stir together and break up and mash the lumps of mince against the sides of the pan.
- When the mince is mostly broken down, stir in 2 bay leaves, 1 rosemary sprig, 2 thyme sprigs, 2 tsp dried oregano, 2 beef stock cubes and 500ml red wine, and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 1 hr, stirring occasionally to stop the bottom catching.
- Uncover and gently simmer for another 30 mins-1 hr until the meat is tender and saucy. Taste and season.
- To finish the béchamel sauce, strain the milk through a fine sieve into one or two jugs.
- Melt 100g butter in the same pan then, using a wooden spoon, mix in 100g plain flour and cook for 2 mins. Stir in the strained milk, a little at a time – the mix will thicken at first to a doughy paste, but keep going, adding milk gradually to avoid lumps.
- When all the milk is in, bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly (if you have lumps, give it a quick whisk). Gently bubble for a few mins until thickened. Season with salt, pepper and a good grating of nutmeg.
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
- Spread a spoonful of the meat sauce over the base of a roughly 3.5 litre baking dish. Cover with a single layer of dried pasta sheets, snapping them to fit if needed, then top with a quarter of the béchamel. Spoon over a third of the meat sauce and scatter over a little of the finely grated parmesan. Repeat the layers – pasta, béchamel, meat and parmesan – two more times to use all the meat sauce. Add a final layer of pasta, the last of the béchamel and remaining parmesan.
- Sit the dish on a baking tray to catch spills and bake for 1 hr until bubbling, browned and crisp on top