Tuesday, 15 May 2012

the LASAGNE...

As well as pizza and pasta (yes, all kinds!), one of my favourite Italian dishes is lasagne. This Italian version is different to any lasagne that I ever made in the UK, and it's absolutely delicious. 
You will need the following: (please forgive my vagueness with quantities, with things like Parmesan some people don't like to add too much , whereas others can't get enough of it)

These ingredients should be enough for 4 people, but you may want to make extra because  it's just SO. GOOD. And I often go back for seconds. So, the first thing you need to do is fry the onion and mince with a little oil in a pan, until the meat is cooked. Add the wine (again, how much or how little is at your discretion, but I prefer a nice big glug of it...) just as the meat reaching it's cooked state. When the liquid has evaporated, add the tomatoes, and turn the heat right down. Leave it simmering away happily for about an hour to get the best taste. I always get impatient and don't leave it more than 10 minutes, but trust me- the longer it's left, the better. Keep tasting and adding salt depending on how much is needed.

Meanwhile, cut up the mozzarella and ham into little pieces.

 When the meat sauce is ready, take a lasagne dish, and first put a layer of meat sauce. Then, place the pasta sheets on top, followed by a layer of bechamel sauce (I, and as far as I know, other Italians use the ready made stuff. It saves time and prevents me from getting mad when the flour and milk and butter don't do what they are supposed to be doing...). Then sprinkle on some of the mozzarella and ham and some Parmesan. Repeat all of this again on top, so you have 2 or 3 layers.

Finally, pop into the oven for about 20-25 minutes at about 200 degrees C (but of course, it depends on your oven, you may want a slightly lower temperature, especially if you have a temperamental fan oven like my mum's!). When it's done, It'll be bubbling on top and the pasta should be soft (test by sticking a knife in- it should go in through the pasta sheets easily). After you have removed it from the oven, leave it for a few minutes to settle. And then of course, there's nothing left to do but tuck in. Buon appetito! 

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