So you may be wondering where on earth I have been over the last 3-4 weeks. Well, as frightfully lazy as I am lately, I come furnished with an excuse: I have been losing my sanity in Italy! Along with some of the nicest people ever, I have spent 3 weeks singing camp songs involving such enthralling topics as bananas, frogs, washer women (but boogie woogie washer women, naturally) and not forgetting, of course, the martian, who came from mars. Beware though, he will try and buzz on your kazoo… We have also partaken in rather a lot of showing people our bungalow. Yup. Want an explanation? Here we go:
Vicky and Fiona rock the Bungalow. If there were a bungal-oscar, they would be the recipients.
Oh and yes, that is about forty 20-30 yr olds standing around in a circle singing and dancing. That is how we do it.
So where’s the food I hear you asking? Well, one clear-skied sunny Saturday, I rolled up my sleeves, got out my chef’s hat, and made dinner with my Italian family (the second). But what dinner you ask? Lasagne!
Yup. You heard me. It was made rather differently to the lasagne I am used to. Heres the recipe. Oh, we made 3 so… I’m scaling this back.
1 lasagne dish.
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves of finely minced garlic
- A handful of fresh basil
- 1 lb of quality assured Irish beef mince. Or use ½ pork and ½ beef if you wish!
- 1 bottle of tomato passata
- Many sheets of fresh lasagne (upcoming recipe, expect it this week)
- Fontina cheese, thinly sliced – the amount you need varies with size of your pan, I used one block weighing… eh.. this much.
- ½ litre of béchamel sauce. I made it in my other (slightly less fatty) lasagne recipe: click HERE.
- About 2 handfuls finely grated parmesan/grana cheese
- Finely dice your onions and fry them with the garlic in olive oil for a few minutes until soft.
- Add your mince and cook over a medium heat until it is nicely browned.
- Pour in the Passata into the pan and add the handful of fresh basil, finely chopped.
- Cook on a low heat for 45 minutes. Yoms.
- Meanwhile, make your béchamel – without adding the cheese) and leave aside. (See instructions here). When your meat sauce is ready, pop it on a low heat to keep it warm. Ok, here comes the fun part:
To layer it up!
- Begin by putting a spoonful of béchamel on the bottom of the bowl and brush it around so that the bottom is coated.
- Line the bottom with pasta sheets.
- Spread 2 spoons of béchamel over the pasta and spread around with a pastry brush.
- Spread about 2-3 spoons of the meat sauce on the pasta. Don’t put too much on. See no.5.
- Layer the thinly sliced cheese on like this:
- Pop the pasta sheets on top again.
- Repeat. And repeat. And repeat again. And again. Just keep going 🙂
- When you get to the top, stop at the meat layer. Sprinkle the parmesan on top and leave it at that!
- Next. (Optional) Attend your Italian family’s birthday party here:
- You can leave this for a day in the fridge without cooking. It’ll taste even better when you make it the day before.
- Pop in the oven for about 35-45 mins at about 170*C.
- Serve with some mixed leaves- drizzle with olive oil and salt, large slices of tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and red wine vinegar, and a nice chunk of crusty bread top mop up those tomato juices with. Yummilicious.
Now. LET me see your bungalow, let me see your bungalow.
Mmmmmm lasagne! Best meal ever. I love that you can pop it into the freezer and it comes out just as good as when it goes in.
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Hi- just found you on twitter.
This looks delicious and I’ll definitely follow your tip of making the day before as I’m always short on time after work. I love the traditional lasagne recipe and think it shouldn’t really be tampered with but there is a Nigella recipe I want to try that is Pumpkin and Goats cheese lasagne. I’ll be posting the results of that soon on my blog. Have you tried any other variants on this classic?