Simple Steps To Make Lasagne
Lasagne is special Italian pasta and it is made with lots of ingredients that tickle the taste hormone.
Below are the ingredients and method for cooking according to Explore Italian Culture:
- 12 sheets of lasagne
- 500g (1 lb) minced (ground) beef
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped into small cubes
- 1 courgette (zucchini), chopped into small cubes
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 stick celery, finely chopped
- 1 x 400g (16 oz) can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato purée
- 1 glass of dry Italian red wine
- 100g (4 oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 10 basil leaves
- 50g (2 oz) salted butter, cold, cut into 1cm cubes
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Ingredients for the cheese sauce
- 100g (4 oz) butter
- 100g (4 oz) plain flour
- 1 litre (1.75 pints) cold, full fat milk
- ¼ tsp freshly grated (or ground if fresh not available) nutmeg.
- Before starting to cook, add a splash of olive oil to the meat in a bowl and mix with your fingers. This loosens and separates the meat and saves having to chop it up in the pan.
- Heat the remainder of the olive oil in a large frying pan.
- Add the onion and fry on a high heat until soft.
- Add the celery – this adds crunch to the mixture.
- Add the carrots and courgettes.
- Keep stirring everything together and cook until soft.
- Add the meat and stir everything together again until it starts to colour.
- Now add the wine and cook on fairly high heat so the wine cooks down. The alcohol will evaporate and leave the taste without bitterness.
- Finally, add the tomato paste, mix in and then leave to simmer for about half an hour.
- Keep an eye on it – the mix must be loose and not too thick so that the liquid in the meat sauce can help the lasagne sheets to cook.
- While the meat is cooking, make the cheese sauce.
- Using a deep ovenproof dish spread about a quarter of the cheese sauce on the bottom and cover with sheets of lasagne.
- Spread one half of the meat sauce on top, and then spread another third of the cheese sauce on top without more lasagne sheets. Sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese and then another layer of lasagne sheets.
- Cover with the remaining meat sauce and half of the remaining cheese sauce.
- Finish with a final layer of lasagne sheets and the remaining cheese sauce, making sure all the sheets are covered.
- Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over the top with small cubes of butter, and grind black pepper over it all.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF, gas mark 4) and cook on the bottom for 30 minutes.
- Then place the dish in the middle of the oven, raise the temperature to 200ºC (400ºF, gas mark 6) and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes until golden and crispy all over.
- Turn off the oven and leave the lasagne to rest for a few minutes; this will help the lasagne to stick together and it will be much easier to serve.
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