Cold October nights have been rolling in this week and we finally succumbed and turned the central heating on. In my head this means it’s time for cozy, satisfying, feel good food. Not that I ever need an excuse! But it’s almost guilt free when I feel like I’ll be burning it all off trying to keep myself warm.
Classics are so hard to beat, I love them. Lasagne is one of those meals that just hits the spot! Such a comforting dish that leaves everyone satisfied and with a smile on their face. I know in our house we couldn’t be without it. This recipe was even what P asked me to make as his birthday dinner a few months back. A birthday feast!
The only downside is that it takes a little time to prepare, but once you realise how simple it is you won’t be able to go back to shop bought! Now remember that batch of ragu I made last week? That’s what you’ll need to fill out this bad boy. Got yours ready? Let’s go!
You’ll also need:
Fresh lasagne sheets
1 pint full fat milk
50g plain flour
1 bay leaf
Now normally, I always always make fresh pasta from scratch. It does make such a difference! Especially in such a simple recipe where each of the ingredients stands out. But since we moved house recently my pasta machine is still sealed up in a box in the garage and without having a battle with the many boxes in front of the one labelled ‘kitchen equipment’ peaking out at me teasingly from the back, I will have to make do with shop bought ready made pasta sheets this time! Grr!!! Just this once.
Begin with your Béchamel sauce. Heat the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over a low heat until melted and then add the flour. Stir until combined and leave on the heat for another minute or two. Then add the milk, a bit at a time whilst continuously stirring to ensure there are no lumps. Leave on a low heat, add the bay leaf and a pinch of nutmeg and slowly bring to the boil, stirring regularly with a whisk to make sure it doesn’t start sticking to the bottom of your saucepan. As it gets warmer your sauce will start to thicken up. When nearing a boil your sauce is ready. All you have to do is remove the bay leaf.
In the bottom of a dish, pour in a decent layer of ragu. You don’t want to scrimp!
Then pour over a little of the Béchamel sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan (about 20g) and top with a layer of pasta.
Repeat ragu, béchamel, parmesan, pasta for a second time. And again once more. On top of this third layer of pasta pour all the remaining béchamel sauce and sprinkle over the rest of the parmesan. The lasagne is now ready for the oven.
Have your oven ready at 180C/355F and whack it on in. Cook until bubbling and golden (30-40 minutes).
It should look like this delicious dish full of goodness!
6 hungry mouths should be fed. Serve with bread. Garlic bread, fresh white crusty bread, foccacia..
Or with homemade chips cooked in the chip pan and a side salad, just like my mum would treat us to on occasion. Mmmm
I try and make this at least once a month..Sometimes more when the family demand it! And believe me, they will!