- Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and sauté the carrot, celery, onion and garlic for 3–5 minutes, until cooked but not completely soft.
- Add the minced beef, mix thoroughly and cook until it is browned.
- Stir in the tomato purée, red wine and stock and cook gently, uncovered, for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce and herbs and cook for 10–15 minutes, until most of the liquid has reduced. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
- Place a layer of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 25 x 18cm (10 x 8 inch) baking dish.
- Add a layer of the pasta, a layer of béchamel and sprinkle with some of the grated cheese.
- Repeat these layers, finishing with béchamel and grated cheese.
- Bake for 35–40 minutes, until bubbling hot.
Serve with a crisp green salad and garlic bread.
Tip: Try adding 100g (1⁄2 cup) ricotta cheese to the basic béchamel for a richer flavour.