Lasagne al forno
Easy classic lasagne recipe
Here's a wonderful recipe for lasagne al forno straight from Gordon Ramsay and his latest TV show Cookalong Live. Lasagne is one of the classic Italian pasta recipes, comprising three parts: a Bolognaise sauce, a bechamel or fornay sauce, and the final assembled lasagne itself.
This is a nice simple version that can be cooked in under an hour, and is delicious served with salad, or chips (fries).
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
2 cloves of garlic
300g minced beef
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp red wine
400g chopped tomatoes
coarse black pepper
For the bechamel sauce:
25g all-purpose (plain) flour
60g cheddar cheese
30g parmesan (or mozzarella)
The Meat Sauce
Cooking the onion and carrot
With garlic, bay leaf and seasoning
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan and then add the chopped onion, crushed garlic and grated carrot along with a bay leaf, a pinch of dried oregano and the Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and coarse ground black pepper, and then continue frying until soft.
Adding minced beef
And tomato puree
Dig a hole in the cooked onion and carrots, then put the minced beef into the pan with the tomato puree. Spread the beef evenly to speed up the cooking time, and then mix with the other ingredients. Continue cooking until the meat has browned.
Finishing the meat sauce
With wine, tomatoes and a little milk
Add the red wine, stir it into the other ingredients and simmer for a couple of minutes to boil off the alcohol. Then make a well and add the tomatoes. Mix them in and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Finally, take the pan off the heat, add the milk and stir to mix it into the meat sauce.
The Bechamel Sauce
Making the white sauce
Lump-free Bechamel sauce
Melt the butter in a saucepan and then add the flour. Stir to produce a smooth paste. Add a third of the milk and whisk vigorously while continuing to gently heat the mixture. Don't use a spoon as the resulting sauce may end up lumpy. Whisking will prevent any lumps forming. Add the rest of the milk in two portions while whisking.
Season with a little salt, coarse ground black pepper and grated nutmeg.
Finally add the grated cheese and mix until the sauce is smooth.
Assembling the Lasagne
Layer 1: Meat Sauce
Get an over-proof dish and put half of the meat sauce into it. Spread it out to cover the bottom of the dish.
Layer 2: Lasagne Sheets
Gently place lasagne sheets on top of the meat sauce, but don't allow them to overlap. If you need to, break them to the right size.
Layer 3: White Sauce
Next, gently pour half of the bechamel sauce onto the lasagne sheets. Spread it evenly over the surface of the pasta.so there are no gaps.
Finishing the Lasagne
Repeat layers 1-3 and top with parmesan
Carefully pour the remainder of the meat sauce on top of the white sauce. Spread it evenly, and then top with a second lay of lasagne sheets. Spread the rest of the white sauce on top of the pasta sheets, and then cover with grated cheese (parmesan is best, but mozzarella works well also). Season with black pepper and a pinch of oregano.
Pre-heat oven to 225C and then bake the lasagne for 25 minutes.
Lasagne al forno - Delicious pasta recipe - done!
Serve this delicious lasagne al forno with a light salad, or fries.
Kitchen Heaven - by Gordon Ramsay
This is a quality book prompted by Ramsay's visits to failing restaurants in his series Kitchen Nightmares. There is a whole host of wonderful recipes all beautifully photographed and described.
With something for everybody from delicate salads to recipes on toast; and delicious mains and tempting desserts.
There is also a great innovative lasagne recipe, including how to make homemade lasagne rather than using dried sheets. His lasagne recipe uses sliced beef instead of beef mince, and is built up on the plate rather than baked in the oven. A very nice twist on a classic Italian recipe!
Find cooking inspiration - Italian style!
Making the Bolognaise sauce - The base for a good lasagne
This is pretty much exactly the recipe I used, courtesy of Gordon Ramsay from his Channel 4 show Cookalong Live.