One can never go wrong with lasagne. It’s a timeless classic that I come back to over and over again. Despite what you might think, it’s really easy, and the oven does most of the hard work for us.. all it needs is a little TLC , and it’ll greet with a warm kiss with the very first bite 😉
For the filling:
500g minced beef
1 large onion-diced
2 large carrots-grated or finely chopped
2 large stalks of celery- grated or finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic- minced
1 tsp of: oregano, thyme, rosemary
3 tsp of tomato puree
1 glass of red wine (optional)
1 tbsp of olive oil
A glass of water
Salt,pepper to taste
1 tsp of paprika powder ( you can use chili powder or cayenne pepper if you preffer it).
1 tbsp of worchestershire sauce (or balsamic vinegar)
1 tbsp of sugar
For the bechamel (white sauce)
3 tbsp of butter
3 tbsp of flour
500ml of milk
Salt,pepper to taste
50ml of cream
Extra: lasagne pasta, fresh or dried,
t 100g of cheese of your choice (parmezan would be the best).
First you need to make the filling. Now the filling has to be tasty, so don’t just bang everything into the pan and expect a miracle. You can’t just make a ”whatever” filling and think the baking process will turn into something amazing. It has to be seasoned, delicious and cooked through.
So, first fry off the onion with the garlic until it’s softened a little ( 2-3 min) and add the beef mince. Brown it well, so it has some nice colour to it, while making sure to get rid of all big chunks of meat (separate the meat strands, it’s not nice to have a meatball in your lasagne). Once the meat is browned add the carrot and the celery. Fry for further 4-5 min until the vegetables soften. Add the herbs and the tomato puree,sugar and your worchestershire sauce(or balsamic)Fry for about a minute, then add the wine and let it evaporate while scraping whatever is stuck to the bottom of the pan with your wooden spoon (lifting the flavour off the pan). Once the whine has mostly evaporated add the water (or beef stock) and simmer for about 30-40 min, until the sauce is ready and the vegetables fell apart, thickening the sauce. Then season to taste with salt , pepper and paprika. Let the filling cool.
For the bechamel , heat up a medium size sauce pan, and melt the butter in it- gently. Add the flour and stir it in quickly. That’s your roux – a base that will thicken the sauce. Once that will bubble up and get foamy start adding your milk (room temperature or a bit warmer) add the milk bit by bit, constantly stirring with a whisk- to prevent any lumps from forming. Once all the milk is incorporated, let it come to a very gentle simmer, and thicken. Once it’s thicker, turn the heat off, season with salt,pepper, nutmeg , add your cream, and let it cool for 5 min. then add your eggyolk and whisk quickly. That’s your bechamel done. Now all that’s left is assembling the lasagne.
Start off by greasing the dish, you can do it with butter, olive oil or other oil. Start off with a layer of meat sauce, then pasta, then meat sauce, bechamel, pasta, meat sauce, bechamel- until you have none left. The last layer should be bechamel. Sprinkle over the cheese. Bake in a preheated oven( 180C) for about 45 min . Serve with some sort of a fresh salade on the side. You can go for green salade with tomatoes, cucumber or just plain fresh rocket. I chose for carrot and cucumber slithers.