Makes 3-4 good portions
Prep time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 1.5 hours+
480g good lean mince ( I like steak mince)
500g Passata/ plain sieved tomatoes,
120g approx chopped baby plum or ripe cherry tomatoes **(during winter replace with two finely chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil)
500g pack linguine for bolognese OR 250g pack dried lasagne sheets for lasagne
2 tbsp chili olive oil,
2 cloves finely chopped fresh garlic,
3 roughly chopped shallots or 1 onion, red or white*
1 tsp dried italian herbs,
1/3 tsp Freshly ground mixed peppers (schwarz do a lovely one) or black pepper if you can't find
(To bulk out, try adding finely chopped or grated celery and carrots after the onion)
(For the lasagne only: 1 pint cheese sauce home made, also 75g grated mozzarela and 75g grated medium cheddar)
1- Heat up a large saute/ fry pan and preheat oven to 190"/ apx gas 5.
2- Add mince to pan to brown
3- In a small fry pan heat on high the chili oil, once hot add the tomatoes, shallots, garlic and the herbs for about 4 mins till golden and bubbling.
4- Drain the mince if needed, add the passata to pan, heat for 30 seconds then return mince to pan.
5- Take the smaller pan and add contents to mince mixture and stir well. Set the timer for 15 mins and keep stirring every now and then.
6- For bolognese - When the mix has gone a deep reddish colour its ready just simply add to the cooked linguine, mix well and serve with lots of fresh parmesan and nice bread. OR,
7 - For lasagne, take a large oven dish (mine is about 30cm x 20 x 8 ish), layer the lasgne sheets slightly overlapping at the bottom, then add a few spoons of cheese sauce and spread out to cover fully. Then add a handful of both cheese mixtures and season with pepper, now add 1/3 of the mince and smooth out. Repeat layers until meat used up (mine does about 3 layers). For the final layer finish with lasagne sheets overlapping slightly, pour on remainder of sauce and cheese. Sprinkle over aprx a tsp of the italian herb mix and place in oven. My electric oven is slow and take sabout 35-40 mins but my mums super gas takes no more than about 25mins, will be ready when golden and bubbling.Serve with lots of 'Jardin' salad leaves and garlic bread.
45g flour, 45g unsalted butter, 1 pint milk
Melt gently the butter, remove from heat, whisk the flour in to form a 'roux', add 1/4 milk, whisk thoroughly, return to heat, slowly whisk in remaining milk, bring to the boil for 1 minute constantly stirring, lower heat and simmer on low for couple more minutes till creamy and thick, use immediately.
*If you have time, place the milk in a saucepan with a roughly chopped carrot and stick of celery a small halved onion and a twist of black pepper, bring to the boil and remove from heat and leave to infuse for about 20 minutes, then use as directed above*
I gave this recipe to work colleagues who'd never made it before and got big thumbs up as so easy but delish! Let me know if it works for you! Enjoy!
*If you have some extra time on your hands, try roasting the veg with the chili oil for about 45 mins then use as above.