Ok so here is my all time favorite dish - LASAGNA, I loved it as a kid and I still do. Anyone I have ever worked for or cooked for loves lasagna it's the comfort food of all comfort foods, the perfect gift in the freezer for a rainy day, Lasagna is a crowd pleaser for kids, bike riders and everyone in between - so here is my recipe for lasagna success.
You might notice that I am not making the bechamel the classic way - I know shame on me... being a trained chef and all. However, for a lasagna this white sauce does the trick in my opinion. You can of course gourmet it up and make it the classic way if you like - up to you. But i guarantee you this works and it's tasty.
Make plenty, make double make portion sized lasagnas, fill the freezer and thank yourself later.
Classic Lasagna Bolognaise
Yield: 1 lasagna
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
400 g minced beef or beef and pork
2 onions, minced
2 stalks celery, minced
2 large carrots, grated
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cans of tomatoes
2 tbsp dried oregano/dried basil/thyme/rosemary (mix as you like)
80 g tomato paste
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 star anise
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
250 ml / 1 cup red wine
White sauce (shame on me)
1 l. milk ( I use almond milk - you can use dairy)
2 cloves (optional)
4 tbsp. corn flour
50 ml cold water
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
150 g grated parmesan
500 g lasagne sheets ( I use gluten free ones )
Preheat your oven to 175*c/345*F
Prepare the vegetables as shown in the ingredient list.
Brown the beef in a hot frying pan with olive oil and season with
Add the veggies and sauteé until tender at medium heat for about 3-4 minutes.
Add the dried spices, tomato concentrate and sauté for 1 minute, then IF you are adding wine, - Now is the time. Pour the wine in and let it reduce down to 1/3.
Add the canned tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and let
it simmer at low heat for about 30 minutes as you prepare the white sauce.
Bring the milk to a boil with the cloves.
Combine cornflour and water into a paste and whisk it into the milk. Bring
the milk to a boil again at low heat, turn down the heat and simmer for 5
minutes whilst whisking.
Season the sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Strain
the sauce and add 100 g parmesan.
Assemble the lasagne in an ovenproof dish in the following order:
first white sauce, then a lasagne sheet and then meat sauce. Repeat
until you run out of the meat sauce and sheets. Top with a layer of
white sauce sprinkled with the rest of the parmesan.
Bake the lasagne until the lasagne sheets are soft throughout – test with a sharp knife or a cake tester to see if it slides through.
Cooking time: about 50-60 minutes.
TIP: you can add shredded mozzarella to the layers and the top if you wish to do so - it's delicious.
Another important fact is that lasagna is AMAZING the day after it's cooked, so if you´re planning a weekend lasagna, because you're having guests or having beers (Guests are only relevant post Corona, but WHEN you can have guests again... ) - get going and make it ahead and just heat it up. Best advice ever.
Also if you like me, can't really eat dairy or wheat - you can easily substitute the cheese with a vegan option - or you can live with the fact that you get a bit bloated and just eat the delicious cheese...
Thank you for reading and cooking.
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Take care, lot's of love