For as long as I remember, my Dad has held the family trophy for best homemade lasagne. To this day, I don’t know how he makes it, but it’s absolutely delicious! This week… I’m out to even the playing field with my adaptation of this beautiful Lasagne.
Here is what you will need to serve 3-4 people. (Or two seriously greedy gannets like me and the Mr!)
For the Bolognese Sauce
- 2 Rashers of Smoked Back Bacon
- 1 Medium sized Onion
- 1 Clove of Garlic
- 1 Large Carrot
- 1 Stick of Celery
- Olive Oil
- 1 heaped tsp Dried Oregano
- 250g Lean Beef Steak Mince
- 400g Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 tsp Sugar
- Bunch of Fresh Basil
- Salt & Pepper
For the White Sauce
- 1/4 small Onion
- 350ml Semi Skimmed Milk
- Sprig of Fresh Parsley
- 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 3 Black Peppercorns *
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 18g Salted Butter
- 23g Plain Flour
- 35g Parmesan Cheese, grated
- Salt & Pepper
For the Lasagne
- Approx 5-6 standard sized Dried Egg Lasagne Sheets
- 1 Large Tomato
- Glass Oven Proof Dish approx 20 x 15cm
* I didn’t have these in the cupboard so used approx 3 tsp of coarse black pepper tied up in a piece of muslin.
First, make the bolognese sauce.
Slice the bacon then chop the onion, garlic, carrot and celery. I like mine quite chunky but if you want flavour without the texture, chop them into smaller pieces. Just try and keep them all a similar size.
Heat a large heavy based saucepan over a medium heat. Add a little olive oil then throw in the bacon and oregano. Fry until just turning golden brown.
Pick the leaves off the basil then finely chop the stalks and add them to the pan. Reserve the leaves for later. Season with plenty of salt and pepper then bring the whole thing to the boil.
Turn the heat right down, cover with a lid and allow to simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. My lid has a built in colander so let’s a little steam out whilst cooking, if yours doesn’t – simply rest the lid on slightly slanted.
Meanwhile, make the white sauce.
Slice the 1/4 onion and add it to a small saucepan along with the milk, parsley, nutmeg, peppercorns and bay leaf. (I didn’t have any peppercorns in the cupboard so used 3tsp of coarse black pepper in a piece of muslin as a substitute.)
Gradually add in the milk and whisk after each addition until smooth. When the milk is used up, stir in most of the parmesan cheese, (Reserve some for later.) Season with salt & pepper and leave covered to one side until needed.
This should have reduced nicely after an hour, give it a stir then tear in the reserved basil leaves from earlier. (Save a few of the smaller ones for decoration later.)
Have a taste, if you think it needs some more seasoning, add a little salt & pepper.
Spoon half of the bolognese sauce into the bottom of the glass dish.
Sprinkle over the remaining parmesan cheese. Cut the tomato and place slices on the top. Add the reserved smaller basil leaves from earlier and you have got yourself a lasagne ready for the oven!
Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C.
Cover with tin foil and bake in the centre of the oven for approx 25-30 minutes.
Remove the foil and continue cooking uncovered for another 15-20 minutes until golden on top.
So what do you think, reckon I’ve surpassed my Dad’s lasagne legacy? …Only taste buds will tell.
And on that note, I bid you fairwell until next week my lovelies!