I am just coming back from a lovely week-end in Tuscany. We did the trip for a wedding, close to San Gimignano. Two days in the Tuscan countryside and I feel so rested that it is as if I had spent the whole week there. Time just seems suspended there, and it is a great feeling when you live in a busy city like London. Coming back was so difficult!
As I was away I don’t have anything current to share, but I thought this Italian escapade was a great excuse to share with you my lasagna recipe, with homemade sauce and all. This is also to celebrate the nice performance of Italy for their first World Cup game! I was amazed how much Italians are into football; a screen was put up in the marquee at midnight, so those who wanted could watch the game while the band was playing.
With this recipe you can keep both vegetarians and meat-eaters happy : make the meaty or veggie variation of the sauce, then assemble your lasagna.You can also use the sauce for a simple pasta dish if you don’t feel like doing the full shebang.
Ingredients (6): Sauce: 1 celeri branch, 1 carrot (peeled), 1 onion (peeled and quartered), 1 clove garlic (peeled), 30 cl olive oil, 400 g minced beef,30 cl red wine, 400 g tinned tomatoes, a handful of fresh basil leaves (washed and dried), 100 g frozen peas, a pinch of nutmeg, a handful rosemary.
1 pack dried lasagna (300 g), 150 g grated mozzarella (to cook, not the fresh one)
1. Chop the celeri, carrot and onion in the TM bowl, 5 seconds/Speed 5 (or by hand).
2. Add the olive oil and cook for 5 mn/100 C/Speed Spoon/Reverse
3. Add the meat and cook for 10 minutes/100 C/Speed 1/Reverse
4. Add all the ingredients but the basil leaves and cook 25 minutes/90 C/Speed 1/Reverse, or util the meat is cooked and the sauce has reduced.
5. Add the basil leaves and the peas 2 minutes before the end of the cooking.
Variation: You can make a veggie variation of this sauce by replacing the meat with 400 g courgettes or mushrooms. Simply add them with the other vegetables at step 1. If you are using courgettes, replace the red wine with dry white wine.
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Lightly oil an ovenproof serving dish (30 x 20 cm).
2. Place pasta sheets on in the baking dish (break the sheets if necessary to avoid any overlapping).
3. Spoon a third of the sauce and spread evenly using a spatula
4. Place another layer of lasagna sheets on top of the sauce. And spoon some more sauce on top of these. And so on until there is no sauce or pasta left (usually 2-3 layers). Make sure there is no past peaking out of the sauce, otherwise it will dry in the oven.
5. Finish with the grated mozzarella. Clean the edges of the dish and place in the oven for 30 minutes. If you lasagna looks quite brown but the sheets of pasta are not soft yet, leave in the oven some more, covered with a sheet of aluminum to avoid blackening the top.
Enjoy with a fresh salad an a glass of red wine! Buon Appetito!