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    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    Rich Fabulous Lasagne

    I am fond of making lasagne and I saw Lidia make her version, on her programme "Lidia's Italian Table". Food TV.
    This sauce is the slow cooking, tomato, meat ragout. The first time this kind of beautiful sauce passed my lips was in 1968 in Paris staying with our new best friends Roy and Jeanne Nunn. We met them in Venice whilst camping at the Lido. We were very impressed with them... in particular for all of the canned food they had in their car. A direct quote from my Letter to Sandy dated October 1968
    "We met some Americans who kindly put us up in Paris.
    We lived like Kings with them there, also or with them camping as he works at the US Embassy and they can shop at the PX… need I say more. America cans everything, and they had it all in the boot of their car. Chili Con Carne. Cobs of Corn vacuum packed Well!!"

    When they did kindly put us up in Paris, Jeanne (of Italian descent) cooked her Grandma's (I think it was) Ragout. It cooked for hours and was amazing. married to the lovely Wendy.

    So Lidia's sauce is up there with it. By the way the dish got a big thumbs up from the grandchildren, on the Thursday night Dinner.

    Below Roy and Jeanne with Dale in Rome, we traveled down from Venice with them and spent our time in Rome, on the Camping Ground at the beach. Managed to fit in a bit of sightseeing.
     So onto the lasagne.

    First the sauce
    2 large onion peeled and sliced
    Olive oil
    500 gms beef mince (you can use a mix of pork and mince)
    2 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    pinch Red Chili flakes
    2 bay leaves
    Good sprinkle oregano
    White wine
    2 cans good tomatoes

    1 pottle tomato paste (140 gms)

    Soften onions in olive oil
    Season S & P
    Remove, set aside add beef mince and brown
    Put onions back in
    Add garlic stir through
    Add herbs and chili flakes
    Good slosh of white wine to deglaze

    Pop tomatoes through food mill or pulse them in food processor
    Into pot
    Add tomato paste
    Check seasoning and adjust if necessary
    Leave to simmer at least 1 1/2 hours even up to 2 hours
    If it gets too thick add a little water.

    You will also need
    Lasagne sheets
    300 gms ricotta
    1 egg
    This Mozzarella works really well. Good product
    I haven't put the quantities of the Parmesan and Mozzarella
    Just have plenty on hand

    Plus you need to make a Bechamel sauce
    2 tbs butter
    2 tbs flour
    1 cup milk (warm)
    1 bay leaf
    Sea salt and pepper
    Nutmeg (freshly grated)
    Parmesan Cheese

    Melt butter and stir in flour

    Cook out for a few minutes
    Season S & P
    Add warmed milk and bay leaf
    Stir till thickened
    Add grated nutmeg to taste
    Remove bay leaf and add a good handful of grated Parmesan

    Meanwhile beat egg and add to ricotta

    NOW, after all that
    To assemble
    Spread a thin layer of the sauce on the bottom of your dish
    Place lasagne sheets to cover
    Then plenty sauce and sprinkle grated Parmesan
    Ricotta Mix and more Parmesan

    Slices of Mozzarella

    A drizzle of the sauce
    More Parmesan
    Final layer of sauce

    Then top with Bechamel sauce
    If you want to freeze this... cook at 180C covered with foil for about 25 minutes
    Cool and Freeze
    To finish, thawed is best and then it will need about another 20 minutes covered
    And about 15 minutes, uncovered to bubble the top.
    It is best to let it rest at least 30 minutes, before serving, it is easier to portion and once again
    Piping hot food is not the best way to get flavour.
    If you want to cook straight away
    40 minutes covered in foil
    20 minutes uncovered
    Either way a winner.

    1 comment:

    katiez said...

    That does look wonderful.... I'm not sure if I have the patience to let it rest for 30 minutes... I can usually manage 5 LOL. I burn my mouth a lot....