Daily Archives: January 8, 2011

Everyday Lasagne

We love lasagne and, like so much peasant cooking, you can adapt it very easily to incorporate what you have in the larder.  It is also a recipe you can make in advance, it freezes brilliantly and often tastes nicer the next day – make double and freeze half or have it again the next day.  And don’t forget – most of this is made from storecupboard ingredients

Here is a basic starting recipe.

EVERYDAY LASAGNE

Utensils:
1 x 8×10” ovenproof dish
1 x large saucepan
2 x small saucepans
2 x measuring jugs
1 x strainer
1 x grater

Ingredients for Meat Sauce (Ragu):
1 tblspn oil
½ oz/15g butter
1 medium onion – finely chopped
1 medium carrot – diced
1lb / 480g minced beef
2tblspns red wine or similar
¼ pint / 150ml strong beef stock
4oz / 120g tinned chopped tomatoes
1 really heaped tablspn tomato puree
1 tspn oregano

Ingredients for White Sauce (Besciamella):
2oz / 60g butter
1 very heaped tablspn plain flour
1 pint / 600ml milk
1 bayleaf
6 peppercorns
1 pinch nutmeg

Also
6oz / 180g lasagne
3oz / 90g grated cheese or a hefty sprinkling of Parmesan

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 200 / 6 / 400
Melt the oil and butter in the large pan
Add the onions and carrots and cook gently for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently
Add the mince and cook until browned
Add the wine and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated
Stir in the stock, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and oregano
Bring back to the boil, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes
Meanwhile make the sauce
Put the milk into a small saucepan
Put in the bayleaf, peppercorns and nutmeg and bring to the boil
Remove from the heat, cover and leave to cool for about 10 minutes
Melt the butter in a small pan until melted
Add the flour and stir briskly
Return to the heat and cook gently until thickened
Strain off the milk into a jug, discarding the peppercorns and bayleaf
Gradually add the milk to the butter and flour stirring briskly in a figure of eight motion until thickened
Put a layer of the ragu sauce on the bottom of the ovenproof dish
Cover with a single layer of lasagne sheets
Then another layer of ragu and then a thin layer of the white sauce and a sprinkling of the cheese
Repeat these layers remembering to finish with a layer of white sauce sprinkled with cheese
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the top is browned and bubbling
Serve with salad or peas
Italians do not serve Lasagne with chips.

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