I was asked by my beautiful girls (finally) to be a guest on Bread n Sniff it.. yeah totally lying right now.. I soo asked if I could do this as; well I became child free for 1 magical night.. and of course what else are you going to do on a night without a 2 year old running a muck.. you make Lasagne!!! (yeah cos you don’t try to have sex with your partner.. no that would be idiotic.. – I’m such a loser right now)
So I have been dreaming of a homemade proper actual Lasagne for weeks and this was the perfect time to do so. Look for me it's therapeutic, I love cooking, I trained and used to get paid to cook, so I’m not horrible at it, unlike my partner who once turned bacon into tar (not even lying that time it totally happened)
So my Lasagne is quite possibly my favourite meal and why I say my lasagne is due to the amount of cheese involved.. and not just cheese but a real béchamel sauce with so much cheese you wonder if it will cause a heart attack with the first bite.
Right on with the show
Step one: Wine… you need a glass by your side at all times… ALL TIMES
Step two: Gather ingredients and prep.
Instant pasta sheets - amazing invention! I used 2 packets depends on brand, but if in doubt buy more so you have left over.. that’s way better then running out during the middle of this project.
1 tbsp oil
1kg mince - I use pork as partner gets reflux with beef) so whatever floats your boat on that one.
2 Carrots (finely chopped)
2 Red Onions (finely chopped)
1-2 tbsp Garlic - I love garlic so I used two
½ cup red wine - due to the consumption of my white wine I completely forgot to add so yay for me! I still have an entire bottle of red wine at home to drink cook with
1 jar of pasta sauce - after emptied into mix, fill with water shake & use for moistening the meat – yeah I so just did say moist and meat in same sentence.. hahaha gross
2 tbsp Tomato sauce (Watties)
Sprinkling of mixed herbs, fresh or dry
Salt and pepper
3-4 tbsp plain flour
As much milk as you need - I think I used 1L Full cream – none of that skinny shit, you are seriously kidding yourself if you use that (this is a lot of sauce)
- Once carrots and onions have been finely chopped, sweat them off in the pan for about 5 minutes (salt and pepper), this means not too hot to caramelise them, but hot enough they soften and absorb that beautiful butter and become translucent.
- After about 3 minutes, add the garlic. Remove from pan and put in container to wait for their next round.
- Add mince, (salt and pepper) brown and mostly cook off. When I say this; do not kill it again, just slowly and steady wins.
- Add your carrot, onion and garlic to the mince, stir through.
- “Add wine” this part I forgot, meh no biggy, but it will help with the depth of the meat sauce (such a food wanker right now) turn the heat up to full if not already. Don’t stir just hold fire. Wait about a minute then mix in.
- Add pasta sauce and tomato sauce, stir, turn heat on low and keep pouring small amounts of the pasta sauce water into the mix to keep moist. (giggle)
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
- The sauce, Gates of heaven opening sound “ahhhhhhhh” In a large saucepan add butter – low heat. As low as it gets.
- When melted, sprinkle the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time until a thick crumbly consistency
- IMPORTANT: do not add milk straight away or you will have that raw flour taste at the end and the whole sauce is ruined OK. okay.
- With your whisk, and yes just as important, keep whisking and moving the flour butter mixture for a couple of minutes.
- Now you can add the milk.. add about ½ cup at a time, and whisk, whisk, whisk peoples.Continue to add milk and whisk..
- Keep going..
- Almost there..
- Add salt and pepper – do not try to feed the cat and dog like I did then smash the salt and an empty beer bottle all over the tiles then have to get the Lux (South Island for Vacuum) out to remove all the broken glass from your workspace. On the upside… you didn’t drop your wine, so all good!
- Keep whisking..
- Ok so like 1L of milk later and you have a SMOOTH CREAMY consistency time to add the cheese..
- For this round I used pre grated Tasty cheese… about 500gm..
- Right turn the heat off but keep the pot on the stovetop.. if you have heat going you will burn the cheese, it doesn’t take much Trust me.. been there done that… so many times.. poor cheese.
- It will take a few minutes of stirring and then.. Taa Daa!!! You have the most amazing béchamel cheesy sauce of all time.. ALL TIME!
Step drunk five:
- Let’s make lasagne!!!… start by adding a small amount of mince mixture on the base of the Family size casserole dish. Layer the instant pasta sheets evenly then(quick tip: even though the box says no pre-cooking required, I ALWAYS boil the jug and put a small amount of boiling water over the pasta, just to ensure it cooks all the way though)
- So add another layer of mince, this time a decent amount all over the pasta.Another layer of pasta (boiling water again) let it sit for a minute. Then the cheese sauce.. you want at least 1cm think at least so it ends up being like ½ your cheese sauce.
- Then another layer of pasta (boiling water) then mince, then pasta (don’t forget the boiling water)
- Finally add the rest of the cheese sauce.
- Just to top it off you want a sprinkling of cheese on top & into the oven! (do not cover)
(Quick tip: put a larger tray under the lasagne, not directly, and poor some water in this tray so 1. When the lasagne cooks it will drip and 2. when it does drip the cheese won’t burn in the oven causing a bit of smoke and not pleasant smell)
It will take approx. 30 minutes
Remove from the oven and let it rest… let it rest! Step away from the lasagne…
If you cut when it’s hot you will not see any of the beautiful layers as it will turn into a sloppy mess..
Best way, let it cool cover and put into the fridge for the following night. If you must have it that day, a couple of hours in the fridge will suffice.
And congratulations guys you have made a delicious meal the whole family can and will enjoy.
Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy. We certainly have.. breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Time to exercise .. Ha. Cos that’s going to happen.