My boyfriend has been asking me to make him a lasgane for ages and I finally got round to it today. I decided that if I was going to make it, I was going to make it properly so I made everything from scratch 🙂
You will need:
> Roasting dish
> Large saucepan or wok
> Pasta maker (optional)
> Hand blender (optional)
> Garlic crusher
Ingredients for pasta: (optional – shop bought sheets are fine)
> 3 1/2oz plain flour, plus extra to dust
> 1tbsp olive oil
> 1 egg
> Salt to season
(This makes enough pasta for one person, but makes about 4 sheets which for the size of dish I have is perfect, you can easily double it if you need to)
Ingredients for the bolognese sauce:
> 270g mince (or however much you think is enough for 2 people)
> 1 carrot, chopped in the hand blender (if you don’t have one, finely sliced is fine)
> 1/2 clove of garlic
> 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
> 1/2 onion, diced
> 1/4 tsp Italian herb seasoning (optional)
> Tomato purée
> Beef stock cube
> Salt and Pepper to taste
Ingredients for the cheese sauce:
> 40g butter
> 40g plain flour
> 200ml milk
> 100g strong mature cheese, plus extra to top (we really, really like cheese, but you could quite easily use milder cheese or less if you want)
> In a stand mixer, with the dough hook, place the flour, olive oil and egg. If you don’t have a stand mixer, a hand mixer with dough hooks, or a wooden spoon and your hands will work.
> Mix the ingredients until a dough forms. It should come away from the sides of the bowl and leave them clean.
> Flour the work surface and then knead the dough briefly, just until it’s a good smooth dough. Then make the dough into a rectangle and set the pasta maker to its widest setting ‘1’.
> Place the pasta in the machine and wind it through, fold the edges of the pasta in and put through the machine again.
> Repeat this 3-4 times.
> I went up in increments of 2 so my next setting was 3. I fed the pasta through and then set it to 5. I continued to 7 as I thought this was thin enough for my pasta sheets. If you wanted thinner you could go to 9 on your pasta maker.
> Cut the pasta into rectangles and leave to one side.
> Now onto the bolognese sauce. Dice the onion and chop the carrot.
> Put a bit of whatever oil you use to cook, I use extra virgin olive oil, into a large saucepan or wok and heat.
> Crush your garlic into the pan and cook for about 30 seconds.
> Add in the onions and fry off for a few minutes.
> Once the onions are browned off add in the mince and brown this off.
> When the mince is browned off add in the tin of chopped tomatoes, the carrot, stock cube and italian seasoning (if using). Stir until well combined and taste. Squeeze in a bit of tomato purée to taste and then stir it in.
> Leave to simmer for a few minutes and then salt and pepper to taste.
> Leave to simmer until everything is well cooked.
> Turn the heat off and place to one side.
> Now onto the cheese sauce. I know some people use a white sauce, but myself and my boyfriend really like cheese and my mum always made it with cheese sauce so I am too. Place 40g of butter in a saucepan and place over a low heat to melt. Whilst this is melting, grate your cheese.
> Add in the flour, slowly whilst mixing. You want it to become really thick, like a dough.
> Now add in you milk slowly as you may not need it all. Change to a whisk and whisk until a creamy sauce develops. Because we are using the sauce for lasagne we do want the sauce quite thick, I would probably make it slightly runnier if I were making macaroni cheese!
> When you have a good sauce, add in the cheese and whisk continuously until all the cheese has melted and you have a thick, smooth sauce.
> Season to taste.
> Take off the heat and place to one side.
> Now to assemble the lasagne. If you are oven baking immediately the preheat your oven to 180 degrees C now. I made mine in advance and baked it later.
> In your dish place half of the mince in the bottom and spread it out. Then place 2 of your pasta sheets over it to cover the mince.
> Now add a half of the cheese sauce on top of the pasta.
> On top of the cheese sauce place the other half of the mince and spread evenly.
> Place your final two pasta sheets over the mince and then place the remainder of the cheese sauce and smooth over.
> Grate some cheese on top and then place in the oven.
> Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, checking it every so often. Bake at 180 for 30 minutes and then turn the oven up to 190/200 for the remainder of the time so it browns nicely. It’s ready when all the cheese has melted, it’s nicely brown and piping hot.
> Serve immediately and enjoy 🙂