I know lasagne is new to no-one. This is a blog though, and I am delayed in realising that additioms which are not out of the ordinary are okay especially if a top tip is added. In this case that tip is parmesan rind. Adding it to the pot of meat as it slowly bubbles away allows an infusion of that one ingredient we all love.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
1 fat clove of finely chopped and crushed garlic
1kg beef mince
450ml passata or pureed tomatoes
200ml red wine (It adds so much to the flavour – I once had a mental abberration and forgot to add it – big mistake!)
200ml water or stock – top up if dries out while simmering
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
1 large or 2 small parmesan rinds (small being you average supermarket piece of parmesan – look for an imprint on the rind of Parmigiano Regianno for best quality)
150-200g of cheddar or parmesan grated – if it is cheddar be careful of the strength; you may not need to add it all.
1. Fry the onion in the olive oil until it is glassy, then add the garlic and cook for another minute.
2. Add the beef and brown. If excess fat is produced, tip it into a heat proof container to cool before disposal.
3. Add all of the remaining ingredients and let it simmer for an hour while you make the bechamel sauce.
4. Melt the butter and stir in the flour. Let is bubble a little in order to start “cooking out” the flour.
5. Take it off the heat and add 800 mls of milk gradually. I find that a smooth sauce is easier to make with warm milk. If it is not smooth put it through a seive before adding the cheese.
6. Keep adding the milk and stirring then return to the heat and stir until hot and thicker, then add the cheese. You do not have to use cheddar or parmesan – almost any cheese will do. If you prefer, add no cheese at all and perhaps just some parmesan and or mozzerella on top at the end.
7. Spoon a layer of meat on the base of a dish, and top it with sheets of pasta. Repeat this again. Pour the creamy sauce on top and sprinkle generously with grated parmesan or whatever cheese you having lurking in the fridge.
7. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees for half an hour.