Lasagne Al Forno
A simple dish often over complicated. The key here is to make a great ragu it will only take minutes to make but should be left hours (minimum 2hrs) to slowly cook. If you're watching the carbs substitute the lasagne sheets with long strips of aubergine/courgette that have been seasoned and pre-baked in a hot over (42F) for 10 mins. This argue is also great in cottage pie and spaghetti bolognese.
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 6 people
- 1 carrot trimmed and peeled
- 1 celery stick trimmed
- 1 onion peeled
- 25g butter
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano/marjoram leaves (use 3 bay leaves if unavailable)
- 800g minced beef
- 150ml organic milk
- 150ml red wine (or 11/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce)
- 400g passata
- 2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes (optional)
- sea salt
- 425-00ml organic beef stock (feel free to use chicken or veg stock if you'd prefer)
- BECHAMEL SAUCE
- 50g unsalted butter
- 40g plain spelt flour
- 1 litre organic milk
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ tspn freshly grated nutmeg
- sea salt
- 100g finely grated Parmesan
- 12-18cm x 8cm dried lasagne sheets
- Start by making the ragu. Chop the celery, carrot and onion into roughly the same size chunks and finely chop in a food processor.
- Melt the butter and 1 tbsp coconut oil in a large pan and add the vegetables and herbs
- Sweat for 5 mins on a low heat until softened
- In a separate frying pan heat ½ tbsp of coconut oil and fry half of the minced beef till brown.
- Add to the vegetables
- Repeat with the other half of the minced beef.
- Turn the heat up and add the milk stirring until absorbed.
- If using pour in the red wine and reduce by half.
- Turn the heat down to simmer and add the pasta, chilli and season with sea salt.
- Simmer over the LOWEST HEAT for about 1 hour stirring occasionally until most or all the juice has been absorbed.
- For the last hour of cooking add 150ml of stock at a time (approx every 15 mins). This should result in a rich and soupy ragu.
- Preheat oven to 375F/190C(338F/170C fan oven)
- To make the béchamel sauce melt the butter in a medium saucepan and then add the flour
- Allow to seethe for 1 minute
- Gradually add the milk, slowly to begin ensuring the milk fully incorporates with the roux. A balloon whisk may be handy here.
- Add the bay leat, grated nutmeg and sea salt to taste and simmer stirring occasionally over a low heat for about 10 minutes.
- Pick a 30x20x6cm baking dish and layer the ingredients as follows:-
- Cover the dish with a thin layer of rage, then a drizzle of béchamel , a scattering of parmesan and cover with a layer of lasagne (break the sheets if necessary)
- Repeat till you have four layers of pasta and finish with a final layer of rage, béchamel and the remaining parmesan
- If desired the lasagne can now be covered and refrigerated for up to 12 hrs.
- Bake for 30-35minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
I usually double the amount of ragu I make and freeze half for a rainy day.