Lasagne is so one of my favorite meals… in fact is there anyone that doesn’t love lasagne? Don’t answer that it, is completely rhetorical because everyone loves lasagne!!! The trouble with lasagne is that it is a lot of work and frankly by the time I am done making it I have had enough (you know tasting and all can fill a chef up!!!). It is one of those meals that always tastes better when someone else makes it… Now Hood #3 wanted to make a dinner for her friend that recently got married and I thought hhhmmm what a good time to teach her how to make lasagne. This is what she came up with:
And I breathe a sigh of relief as I now have a “live in” lasagne maker, that isn’t me!!! And frankly I don’t mind how often she practices!!!
Let’s Meet The Players:
For the meaty sauce:
- A glug of red wine
- Cans of crushed tomatoes
- And toss in any fresh herbs you have on hand: Basil is best, but parsley and thyme are also good.
I write about the amount of each ingredient in the post, basically it is one onion, one carrot, one stick of celery, one clove of crushed garlic and one can of crushed tomato for each 1/4 kg (1/2 pd) of mince.
For the white sauce:
- Dash of Mustard
- A small lump of strong cheddar, grated
Remember this is kitchen cooking and not exact measuring cooking… we used about half a cup of butter and half a cup of flour to a liter of milk.
- Lasagne sheets (We bought dried lasagne sheets but you can just as easily make your own)
- Parmesan to top it and some salt and pepper.
Let’s Play the Game:
- This is the step for my not so keen vegetable eater to back off. He thinks there are no vegetables in lasagne and that’s why it is so good!!! For every 1/4 kg (1/2 a pd) of mince slice one onion, thinly slice a stick or two of celery, grate a carrot and crush one or two cloves of garlic. (I have been known to add any number of vegetables at this stage – grated courgette, finely sliced cabbage,…)
- Once your onion and garlic have softened in the pan, in a dash of olive oil, you can add your other vegetables to the pan and just let them warm up and soften slightly.
- Then we added our mince to the pan and let it brown gently and with a glug of red wine we let it simmer away.
- Then we added a can of crushed tomatoes for each 1/4 kg (1/2 a pd) of mince… we used a kg of mince, so in went four cans… and once the tomatoes were stirred through, we left it to simmer away until all the extra fluid from the tomatoes were reduced away.
- Then we moved on to the white sauce… with equal parts butter and flour – about half a cup of each. First we melted the butter in a pot, and then took the pot off the heat and added the flour into the melted butter. Stir it to make a thick roux.
- Add the milk slowly to your mixture, stirring all the time – for half a cup of butter and half a cup of flour we used about a 4 cups of milk. Then put your pot back on the heat and stir continuously, if you have a heat proof whisk then now is the time to use it!!! Keep stirring until your sauce is thickened.
- Add a dash of mustard and a small amount of cheddar cheese to the sauce. You know the sauce is dine when you can make a line through the sauce with your finger on the back of a spoon.
- Pop a thin layer of the meaty sauce in a large dish, then a layer of white sauce, then a layer of pasta sheets, and repeat. And then add a layer of meat sauce and finish with a layer of white sauce…
And the se7en + 1th Step: The Construction:
At this stage you can leave it until it is almost time to eat…
Then sprinkle with lashings of freshly grated parmesan and pop into a medium oven for about forty five minutes… Till it is brown and bubbling!!! A very optimistic person thought it would serve four (!!!) But actually we served it with a yummy salad and it served twelve of us…
As well as a smaller dish on the side ready to take home as a gift…
So a substantial amount, from the ingredients mentioned… and not a drop left over – I think that may have been the delicious factor though!!!