Thursday, 22 March 2007

How to make my Lasagne/ bolognese sauce

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.

Cheese sauce*:
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*

Bon appetit!
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.

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