Recipe: Traditional Lasagne 

This is an adapted recipe from Delia’s complete how to cook: Both a guide for beginners and a tried & tested recipe collection for life.

Available from Amazon here: Delia’s complete how to cook: Both a guide for beginners and a tried & tested recipe collection for life.

Growing and cooking with children

Taking on an allotment came from my passion for cooking. It is in many ways an obvious development. Love food, love your ingredients.

There is also another very important link between both of these passions. I want my daughter Ava to enjoy both growing her own fruit and vegetables and eating them. I believe it is important she has a connection with her food and I hope involving her in both growing and cooking will leave her with a strong affinity for food; to understand where it comes from and to enjoy and value it.

You will know from this blog that Ava loves our allotment. She understands how fruits and vegetables grow and that they don’t just appear on the shelves of the supermarket. I also want to get her involved in cooking our family meals. So Sunday marked the start of a collaborative project with Ava. Sunday’s would be a day where we had time to be together and cook a family meal.

Although today’s meal has only two homegrown ingredients, I know as the plot continues to develop and provide much more efficient produce for our kitchen, more homegrown ingredients will be going into our dishes.

onion-garlic

Traditional baked lasagne 

Lasagne has been greatly anglicised, even to the point of becoming an off the shelf microwave meal. Nothing compares to taking the time to prepare a home-cooked Lasagne from scratch. Trust me its worth it!

This Lasagne is delicious. Hearty, rich and a great treat for a weekend dinner. Get the little helpers to give a hand.

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Ingredients:

300 – 350g fresh lasagne sheets
100g smoked pancetta
Wine glass of red wine
2 tablespoons of olive oil
400g tin chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
freshly grated nutmeg
2 rounded tablespoons chopped basil
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
200g Mozzarella, diced
50g Parmigiano Reggiano
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
500g minced Beef
For the sauce:
100ml double cream
850ml milk
75g butter
50g corn flour
Salt and freshly milled black pepper

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 140.

2. I like to be prepared before I start cooking. The french culinary term for this is Mise en place.  Peel and chop the onion,  finely chop or press the garlic, chop the basil, dice the Mozzarella, finely chop the pancetta and weigh out the other ingredients.

3. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large frying pan and soften the chopped onion over a medium heat.

4 After 10 mins  add the pancetta and garlic and cook for another 5 mins. Remove this mixture from the pan

5. Add another tablespoon of olive oil. Add the beef to the pan, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and cooking until brown.

6. Add the tomato paste, tinned tomatoes and red wine and stir well. Return the onion and pancetta to the pan, add the chopped basil and mix everything together. Bring to a simmer.

7. Transfer the meat sauce to a casserole dish. Place the lid on and pop it in the pre-heated oven for 2 hours. Halfway through the cooking time, remove the lid and then leave to continue its oven time.

8. Meanwhile, make the creamy sauce. Add the butter and cornflour to medium sized saucepan and stir over a gentle heat. When the butter has melted and combined with the flour stir in the milk. Season with salt and freshly grated black pepper.

9. Whisk continuously with a balloon whisk until the sauce thickens. Cook on a low heat for a further 10 mins.  Remove from the heat and stir in the double cream.

10. Turn the oven up to 180 and prepare the lasagne. Place a quarter of the meat sauce over the bottom of an oven dish, top with a quarter of the cream sauce, a quarter of the diced Mozzerella and layer with the fresh lasagne sheets.

11. Repeat this layering, finish with a layer of fresh lasagne and top with Parmigiano Reggiano. At this point, you could refrigerate or freeze the lasagne.

12. Bake the lasagne for 45mins until its bubbling and golden brown.

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This recipe is adapted from Delia Smith’s Lasagne Al Forno recipe which can be accessed from her website here.

This recipe can be found in Delia’s complete how to cook: Both a guide for beginners and a tried & tested recipe collection for life.

Available from Amazon here: Delia’s complete how to cook: Both a guide for beginners and a tried & tested recipe collection for life.

The above blog post contains affiliate links.

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