In the past, I have made several attempts, not so successful attempts, to make a traditional lasagne, and it was always because I could not handle the lasagne sheets properly. To boil and cook first or to use dry, straight from the packet? That was the one thing that always baffled me!
Once, my lasagne had really HARD lasagne sheets where they turned out like rubber sheets because I followed the packet instruction which told me I could use it straight from the box. Then another time, thinking that dried lasagne sheet was the culprit to my failed lasagne, I bought fresh lasagne sheets, boiled them in salted/oiled water, and they were all stuck together!
I have tried several different methods and recipes, from using ready made white and red sauce to making everything from scratch, including the sauce.
This time, I wanted to make everything from scratch (except the lasagne sheets, of course). So I went all over the internet looking for the perfect (well......easiest!) recipe to make the bolognese and white sauce.
Most of them are rather complicated, time consuming and required many, many ingredients. Then I remembered that I had this Jamie Oliver's cookbook sitting on my bookshelf, and I remembered that he made this dish on one of his TV shows before.
Hence, I found this nice and easy recipe to follow which produces a beautiful and tasty traditional lasagne - Jamie Oliver's very own recipe!
This time I bought dried lasagne sheets and boiled them in salted water, and most of them did not stick together! What a relief!
The beauty of lasagne is its many layers of bolognese, lasagne sheets and white sauce. Layers upon layers of different textures and flavours give it such an incredibly complex structure and taste!
The bolognese - Chopped up carrots, celery, onions, garlic and smoked streaky bacon stir-fried with lots of dried oregano. Then minced pork (or beef or both) and tins of chopped tomatoes stirred in with some fresh basil and seasoned with sea-salt and black pepper. You can imagine the fragrant aroma coming from the pan and the bag full of flavours in the pan.
|Minced meat and chopped tomatoes added|
The lasagne assembly - One third of the bolognese was layered at the bottom of a large baking dish, then layer the lasagne sheets on top before covering it with creme fraiche. Grated parmesan cheese was then evenly distributed on the creme fraiche and seasoned with salt and pepper. This was repeated three times ending with creme fraiche on top. More parmesan cheese was sprinkled on top and some sliced beef tomatoes and basil leaves were used to decorate the surface.
|Creme fraiche layer - seasoned|
|Ready to be baked!|
This time, the lasagne sheets were soft and robust but the bolognese was a bit watery as I did not shimmer it for the full 45 minutes as instructed and I took the lasagne out of the oven 10 minutes early as we were starving! But nevertheless, it still look amazing and tastes incredibly 'delish'!
Crunchy and super cheesy top layer with the sour and sweet'ish' beef tomato, flavourful bolognese with basil, sweet carrots and onions, fragrant streaky bacon and oregano. Delicious!
|One portion lasagne|
|Layers of goodness!|
I love lasagne - comfort food!