Thursday, 5 December 2013

Lasagne dal cuore

I loved it when Mum made lasagne. I don't know why I never asked her to make it more often though- perhaps the 'surprise' nights when she did, in a way, made me love it more. Each mouthful I knowingly savoured not sure as to when I'd enjoy it next.

In choosing items for our wedding registry back in 2009, my fiancé and I had a great time collecting 'items' for our gift registry at Peters of Kensington. At PoK Bridal couples are given a barcode scanner to scan anything and everything that takes their interest. My fiancé had previously informed me how much he loved lasagne so it was a no brainer that we added an Emile Henry White Lasagne Dish. A surprise for him was that I went home that night and bought it for him, with a little love note telling him that I couldn't wait to make lasagne for him. As I'd never cooked anything for him until after our honeymoon, it was a very confident note on my part!

Since that little love note, we've enjoyed many, many lasagnes in the four-plus years of our young marriage and the recipe has been tweaked over the years. A big breakthrough was instead of using tinned tomatoes, I substituted with a jar of passata which really changed our recipe and lasagne life forever. It was a smoother and saucier lasagne and definitely better we both agreed. There was an added bonus as it meant the mixture went further and in turn more leftover lasagne!

Which brings me to tonight's post. The last trimester of pregnancy has really zapped my energy and motivation and the dinners have been a far cry from what my husband has been used to! So the last few nights I've made an extra effort to make him something special that he loves for dinner after a long day at the office. Tonight I made lasagne. Lasagne dal cuore, lasagne from the heart. 

Lasagne dal cuore
500g best beef mince you can buy
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
mixed herbs
bay leaf
2-3 flat mushrooms, chopped
2 rashes of bacon, chopped
1 700g jar of passata tomato sauce
1 tablespoon white sugar
lasagne sheets

1 Fry onion and garlic until softened
2 Add bacon and mushrooms until cooked and bacon is a little crispy
3 Add mince and fry until no red remains
4 Add mixed herbs, salt&pepper and a bay leaf and fry a little 
5 Add entire bottle of passatta and then rinse out with a 1/3 bottle of water to get all sauce out
6 Simmer for a few hours, stirring occasionally. Much depends on the cooking pot you are using. I recommend using a heavier base pot like the Emile Henry Round Stewpot.
7 Add sugar and stir through

1 Preheat oven to 180 degrees
2 Layer dry lasagne sheet, mince, béchamel sauce and repeat with three layers of lasagne sheets in total. The top layer being the last of the béchamel sauce layers and sprinkled with parmesan cheese and nutmeg.
3 Bake for 45-55 minutes. I can generally smell when the lasagne is ready as the top starts to colour and the cheesy smell wafts through the house… mmmmm
4 Take out and rest for a good 10 minutes before cutting as it needs to 'set'.
5 Serve with your love and a green salad, and hot crusty garlic bread as you like.
6 Enjoy!

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