Sunday, June 23, 2002

OK, not to be outdone by the VodkaPundit and his yummy-sounding burgers, herewith the recipe for the Lasagna I have just finished scarfing:

400glean minced beef
1medium carrot, grated
1large onion, chopped fine
3cloves garlic, crushed
75gbutton mushrooms, sliced very thinly
400gchopped peeled plum tomatoes
1 cantomato puree, mixed with 250 ml water
6-8pre-cooked spinach lasagna sheets
100gfresh Parmesan, finely grated
250mlred wine

Gently soften the onion and garlic in some olive oil over a low heat until they are transparent. Add the meat and gently brown it. Add a good shake of black pepper and deglaze the pan with the red wine. Add the chopped tomatoes, the diluted tomato puree, the carrots and a good pinch of salt. Simmer to reduce for about 15 minutes and then add the mushrooms. Keep reducing, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is quite dry.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour to make a roux. Whisk all the lumps out of the roux, then return to a medium heat and add the milk to make a bechamel sauce. Stir until it starts to thicken, then reduce the heat to the bare minimum and cook for another ten minutes. Add some black pepper, a pinch of salt and a generous pinch of nutmeg. Cook for another five minutes, stirring to ensure no lumps form.

Butter a square, flat-bottomed pyrex dish. Cover the base with a thin layer of bechamel sauce, and a layer of the meat sauce on top. Place a layer of lasagna sheets on top, then cover with more bechamel and meat sauce. Sprinkle some grated Parmesan on top. Repeat with as many layers of pasta, bechamel, meat sauce and cheese as you want and have space/ingredients for (three should do it). The top layer should be just pasta, bechamel and Parmesan.

Place in a pre-heated oven at 250 C and cook for 20-25 minutes. Serve with garlic bread and a good bottle of wine. This quantity will serve two hungry people.


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