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Recipes

Lasagne

This is my take on Lasagne, which originates with my mother. The ragu is rich and dark with the red wine and porcini mushrooms. It is a labour of love but well worth it ! And you can always make two smaller lasagnes and freeze one, always a bonus to have something delicious in the freezer!

Servings: 6-8

Cooking time: 3 hours


What you’ll need

An ovenproof dish. 28cm x 21cm x 7cm or similar


Ingredients – Lasagne

For the ragù:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 x 450g minced beef full fat
  • 4 tbsp sun dried tomato paste
  • 1 pint red wine
  • 2 x 400g tins plum tomatoes
  • 2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
  • 4 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • Thyme
  • 1 or 2 fresh bay leaves if you have them
  • salt & pepper

For Lasagne Assembly

  • Lasagne sheets (approx 10-12)
  • 110g parmesan, freshly grated

Béchamel Sauce:

  • 1 pint milk
  • 1 oz / 40g butter
  • 1 oz / 40g plain flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 50g parmesan or parmesan and cheddar, grated

Method

  1. To make the ragu, sautee the onion with a good pinch of salt and pepper and the chopped garlic and thyme in the olive over a medium heat until soft and golden.
  2. This can take 30 minutes or so. It’s worth really cooking the onions down for that extra flavour.
  3. Then add the minced beef and brown evenly.
  4. Stir in the red wine, tomato paste and all remaining ragu ingredients, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil then lower heat and cook for 1 – 2 hours either on the stove top on the lowest heat or in a moderate oven with a lid on the pot. Oven temp 160 C / 40°C Fan.

Bechamel Sauce

  1. To make the white sauce, put the milk, butter and flour in a heavy-based saucepan, and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  2. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until it starts to bubble.
  3. Turn the heat as low as possible and leave to cook gently for 5-10 minutes stirring now and then to prevent sticking.
  4. Check the seasoning and stir in 2/3 of the cheese.

To assemble the lasagne:

How many layers should a lasagne have ?

It’s up to yourself, I like to put two or three layers of lasagne sheets in my lasagne.

  1. Start with a layer of the meat sauce, cover with a thin layer of white sauce and then a layer of lasagne.
  2. Just use the lasagne sheets straight from the Packet ( I like the Rumo brand if I can get it). Use whole sheets and then fill any gap with broken bits of lasagne. You don’t really want it overlapping or it will not cook well.
  3. Do the same again, then finish with a layer of meat sauce, followed by a layer of lasagne sheets and then a final layer of the white sauce.
  4. Sprinkle the remaining freshly grated parmesan on top. You can assemble in advance or even the day before and bake when required.
  5. Bake in a moderate oven at 180°C for 45-50 minutes until golden and bubbling.
  6. then allow the lasagne to sit and rest for 10 minutes or so to allow the layers to settle and firm up a bit before serving.
  7. Reheats perfectly the next day. Just cover loosely with some foil and bake at 180C until piping hot.

Notes

To make 2 small lasagnes, use white sauce recipe x 1 ½ (1 ½ pints milk / 1 ½ oz butter / 1 ½ plain flour

For more cooking inspiration why not join us here at Wee Buns Cookery School for a hands-on Baking or Cooking Class

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