Wednesday, 25 November 2009


Although the current Italian situation and the depressing grey English weather, I am proud to present this late Autumn special: an Italian classic, LASAGNE. It is the proper time to make lasagne, it is getting cold, we need confort food and it is an occasion to live your kitchen with your beloved persons. And, lasagne are so good that even help to digest the worst TV news (you know what I am talking about).
Now, it is necessary to make it clear that it doesn’t exist one recipe for lasagne, as every family keeps its own special variation. Mine is just a version, probably one of the easiest and lighter ones, but you can add whatever ingredients you prefer. The good thing about cooking is that dogmatism is banned, in favour of fantasy.

I have recently tried my friend Danny's version: a mix of American, Italian granny and native Indian touch. The result? A full-bodied lasagne, reinforced with meatballs and chilly. Spicy and with great character, a triumph of taste and bravery. Now, I’ll let you experiment your own.
It follows my own recipe, easy to do also for first time lasagne cooks!
Turn off the TV, enjoy with a glass of sincere red wine and some honest alternative Italian music : Italians do rock some times (in spite of Mr. B.)!

350 g. mince meat (half beef and half pork)
300g. plum tomato
250g. lasagne sheets
1 pint of milks
A bit of nutmeg
Half a carrot
Bit of celery
1 onion
40 g. of butter
4 table spoon of plain flour
Parmesan cheese

Now, bear in mind that you need some time to make lasagne, therefore choose a day when you have some spare time. The best thing to do, as it takes time, it is to make bit more than your actual servings, so that you can have your meal ready also for the following day. And, trust me, baked pasta always offer its best the day after.
To make the meat sauce (i.e. easy Bolognese sauce): chop the carrot, onion and celery very fine and stir fry them in extra virgin olive oil. Add the mince meat, stir fry for 10 minutes, then cover with the plum tomato and let it cook for 40 minutes. Add some water if necessary.
In the mean time, start making the besciamelle sauce. It is much easier than the meat sauce: once the butter is soft, mix it with flour. Incorporate the flour slowly, in order to avoid lumps. Pour a third of milk, salt, grated nutmeg, bit of grated parmesan cheese and heat it up, pouring gradually the rest of the milk, but before the milk gets too hot. After 10 minutes the besciamelle sauce will start to thicken.Leave it on the side.
Next step: if you enough expert make your own lasagne sheets, other wise spend a couple of pounds and buy already made ones. There are some good ones around, find your favourite ones. V.I.T! (very important tip!): do boil your lasagne sheets before baking them! I don’t know why some packs say to put it straight in the oven. It is better not to do it: Why? Try it.
When the lasagne sheets are soft enough (it takes 2/3 minutes boiling time per sheet) start to build up you layers. Sheets, Bolognese sauce, besciamelle, then again sheets, Bolognese sauce and besciamelle until you finish all the ingredients. As top layer cover lasagne sheets with besciamelle and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
After this great job, put in the oven for 35 minutes and take a rest.
Share your meal with your family and your friends and have a good time. Your effort and time will be rewarded by their happy faces.

No comments:

Post a Comment