Sunday, July 22, 2007


500g minced red meat (preferably coarsely minced)
500g ripe beef tomatoes, pureed
2-3 large onions, chopped fine
Bay leaves
6-8 cloves garlic (add more if you like), minced
Salt, sugar to taste
Fresh basil roughly chopped
Half cup red wine
Oregano, dried (to taste)
Please feel free to add vegetables of your choice if you so wish…like chopped carrots, mushrooms, baby corn etc.
Little Tomato sauce
Olive oil

Heat the oil in a thick based pan, pop the bay leaves followed by the onions. Sweat them in the pan, once they soften a bit add the garlic. Don’t allow the onions to brown too quickly, once they start to colour, add the sugar and caramelize the garlic and the onions. Add the meat and nicely brown it. Let the meat cook for a while on medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the pureed tomato and continue cooking. You must continue cooking till the wateriness disappears and it starts getting thick and gooey. If using vegetables, add them after the meat gets half done i.e. before adding the tomato puree. The whole process will probably take you about an hour because the more you let it simmer on low heat, the more luxurious the ragu gets. Feel free to add sun dried tomatoes too for that bite. If you like it hot then reach for that jar of habaneros!! Pour in the wine because it will have gotten pretty thick by now and turn up the heat ever so slightly and revel in the heavenly aromas…Add just a bit of plain ketchup before taking it off the heat, it makes a difference. Add the basil finally and the oregano and give it all a nice stir….needless to say that salt must be added to taste!

50-75g flour
350-400ml whole milk, warm
Grated nutmeg
Sugar, salt, pepper to taste

Brown the flour. Don’t let it brown too much or it will taste burnt, rather get it golden and make a roux with the butter. Slowly add the warm milk little at a time and vigorous mix at the same time. Continue till you get a smooth sauce but not too watery. Don’t let the sauce thicken too much. Check the seasoning, add a bit of the grated nutmeg. You may need to add a little more flour incase the sauce is too watery. The consistency will be somewhat like that of light cream.

5-6 sheets of Barilla Lasagna
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

The reason why I use Barilla is because their lasagna doesn’t need pre-cooking and can be directly used. That is exactly why the béchamel sauce should be a bit watery so that the sheets can soak. Pour some of the béchamel sauce in the bottom of a heat proof glass baking tray. Put a lasagna sheet on the sauce; put some of the ragu on the sheet, top with some more béchamel and some mozzarella. The more cheese you put, the more luxurious it gets. Continue the same way for about four or five layers. Ensure that the edges of the lasagna sheets are wetted by the sauce béchamel. Any leftover ragu can be conveniently spread around the sides of the tray, topped with béchamel and cheese just like the rest. After the last layer which will end as usual with béchamel and cheese, cover the entire top with lots of mozzarella and a bit of parmesan,
Bake at 200`C for about 20 minutes.

The top should be golden brown and bubbling.

Hold on to your horses cause it’s very, very hot when it comes out of that oven! Wait a little while, before cutting into portions and serving.

Serve with crusty herbed bread and a glass of robust Barolo for La Dolce Vita!!!!

Serves 3 comfortably as part of a meal or 2 by itself.

Buono Appetito!


Post a Comment

<< Home