A TRADITIONAL LASAGNA MARCHIGIANA
I admire Corrado, our olive press maestro, in many ways but just for starters let me tell you about his admirable attitude to lunch. Even when he and his team are at their busiest and working late into the evening, a decent lunch break is not compromised. Work stops at 1pm and won’t restart until 3:30. That’s time, sacrosanct time, for everyone to go home and have a proper home cooked meal. Civilised. One of Corrado’s favourites is a generously-layered, succulent lasagne which takes a good few hours to make but is worth every minute.
- 100 ml Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Onion
- 2 Carrots
- 2 stick Celery
- 2 sprigs of Rosemary
- 2 Bay leaf
- 400 g Minced beef
- 400 g Minced lamb
- 1 cup Red wine
- 400 g Tinned chopped tomatoes
- 50 g Sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
- 1 litre Milk
- 100 g Butter
- 70 g Plain flour
- 500 g Fresh pasta sheets
- 40 g Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Finely chop the vegetables and put them in the hot oil as they are chopped – start with the onions, then the carrots and celery. Add the chopped rosemary, season with salt and pepper and leave gently frying for 20 minutes.
- Add the minced meat and fry for another 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Next add the wine and the tin of tomatoes – rinse out the tin with a bit of water and add that.
- Finally throw in the chopped up sundried tomatoes and simmer this all for a good hour and a half.
- Now make your béchamel – pour the milk into a saucepan, and add the onion chopped into half, a bay leaf, the nutmeg and salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil.
- Meanwhile make the roux by melting the butter in a separate saucepan, add the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
- Take the pan off the flame and add in the sieved milk. Use a whisk to make a smooth sauce and season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oC/GM4.
- Find a lasagne dish about 20cm/8inch by 30cm/12inch and spread a layer of béchamel on the bottom.
- Lay some sheets of lasagne on top, with minimal overlapping. Spread these again with béchamel, and then a layer of meat sauce.
- From here on it goes lasagne, béchamel, ragu. You want about 7 layers of pasta so don’t add too much sauce on any one layer.
- Top it off with béchamel and the grated cheese.
- Now cook it in the oven for 30 minutes or until it’s golden brown on top.