Lasagne is made up of layers of pasta, béchamel sauce and a meat-based sauce (called ragù in Italian). The lasagne that Italian children eat may be slightly different from what you might be used to – they expect a slice of lasagne to stand up on the plate and hold its shape. This recipe shows you how to make lasagne the Italian way.

Home-made Focaccia from The Silver Spoon For Children

>> More Recipes...Why not pair enjoy this with The Silver Spoon Home-made Focaccia and enjoy The Silver Spoon Banana Cream Pudding for dessert?



  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 350g good-quality minced beef
  • 100ml water
  • 500g passata
  • rosemary sprig, sage leaf or bay leaf (optional)
  • quantity béchamel sauce either homemade or, pre-made
  • 40g Parmesan cheese
  • about 12 sheets lasagne pasta


  • STEP 1

    Turn the oven on to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

    To make the ragù, start by finely chopping the carrot and onion and crush the garlic with a garlic crusher.

  • STEP 2

    Put the oil, carrot, onion and garlic in a pan, and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes until really soft, stirring every now and then.

  • STEP 3

    Push the vegetables to the side of the pan and add the beef, making sure it covers the base of the pan. Leave it to cook until it has turned brown (3–4 minutes). Stir everything together and cook for another 3–4 minutes. Stir every now and then to cook the meat and the vegetables evenly.

  • STEP 4

    Add the water and the passata and simmer gently (the mixture will be just very gently bubbling) for 30 minutes. You can also add a sprig of fresh rosemary or a sage or bay leaf to the ragù for extra flavour if you like. Make the béchamel sauce if you haven’t already (or use your pre-made), and grate the Parmesan cheese.

  • STEP 5

    You will need an ovenproof dish about 25 cm × 20 cm big. Spread a little ragù over the base of the dish, then spread a little béchamel sauce over the top. Each layer of sauce should be quite thin, like a layer of jam on toast. Then rest a layer of pasta sheets over the top. Keep layering the ragù, the béchamel sauce and then the pasta sheets.

  • STEP 6

    For this size dish, you should have 4 layers of pasta (3 sheets in each layer). Finish the lasagne with a layer of pasta topped with béchamel sauce. Sprinkle a little grated Parmesan over the top of the lasagne.

  • STEP 7

    Put the dish on a baking tray. Using oven gloves, put the tray in the oven and bake for 35 minutes until golden and bubbling.

    Serve with salad or cooked green vegetables.

The Silver Spoon for Children, New Edition £17.95 (Phaidon)

The Silver Spoon for Children

On the 10th anniversary of its first publication, a new edition of this bestselling collection of quick, wholesome, easy-to-make Italian dishes for kids to prepare is published on 12th Septmeber 2019

Following the global success of the first edition of The Silver Spoon for Children (adapted especially for children from the most influential Italian cookbook of the last 50 years), and to mark the 10-year anniversary of its publication, this newly designed edition presents a fresh, easy-to-use layout. Kids will love to cook and eat the authentic regional Italian dishes – chosen by a nutritional specialist for their simple instructions, achievability, and balanced nutrition. With its charming, specially commissioned illustrations, a lively layout, and bright and tempting photographs of the finished dishes, this book is sure to please budding cooks in kitchens around the world.

Recommend for children aged 710