Boy oh boy I sure do love a good lasagna. the classic beef, chicken, vegetarian and one of the most decadent to date was Jamie Oliver’s Duck Lasagna! It was everything warming, silky smooth and the flavours were off the charts good. BUT it takes 4 hours to make! Something I’ve made only twice as a special celabratory meal. In 2010 I had the brilliant opportunity to travel through Italy with my girlfriend. We ate our way around the country for 3 weeks. And my goodness we came rolling home a little wiser on the culinary delights of Italian cooking. So I started cooking the Romans famously known lasagna, however I was still adding the classic Aussie beef. Fast forward a few years later and I met James, he was working with a lovely Italian lady. She invited us over for a party and naturally served us huge lasagna’s. They tasted just like the ones back in Tuscany. Light and delicate. How is a good lasagna supposed to look on a plate? Actually like a hot mess! Not thick and clumpy, not hard. Oozy and once it hits your mouth it’s almost as if you don’t need to even chew. Different parts of Italy make lasagna slightly differently. But in my humble opinion the way I’ve perfected mine is the best (like most nonnas ha!).
If you want the best lasagna you need to make your own lasagna sheets. Now, please don’t be scared! We’ve shown quite a few people how to make pasta now and they are surprised at how simple it really is!
So folks, this is as authentic as an Italian Lasagna can get (except I’m a mother so I add as many vegetables as possible and broth…. I feel so clever, as I watch my children chow down on veggies they normally don’t eat).
800g grass fed, free range veal mince. (Or mince veal steaks if you can’t find any.
800g grass fed, free range beef mince.
5 Garlic cloves. (only buy fresh garlic thats Australian grown. Why? Click here and see why…
(Now add anything else that might be about to turn or you’ve been dying to feed your kids… eggplant, broccoli, mushrooms etc)
Preheat oven to 190 degrees.
Blitz the veggies to almost a pulp except the onion.
Dice the onions.
Add a tablespoon of butter and Olive Oil to a large saucepan. Allow to melt.
Add Onions and cook until transparent.
Add the crushed garlic, cook for 2 minutes.
Add the blitzed up veggies and cook until darkened in colour.
Place the meat into the saucepan. Allow to brown.
Now add the tins of Italian Tomatoes, Broth, Red wine, Fresh Herbs, Dried herbs, Olives and the juice if you are using them.
Bring to the boil.
Bring it back, cover and simmer for 3 hour hours.
Once cooled add a little more fresh herbs so keep it vibrant in colours.
This is now ready to use for Bolognese or Lasagna. It makes a huge quantity for the freezer.
Bechamel Sauce is the easiest thing in the world to make. Really you can find any easy recipe anywhere. James is a wizz at making the stuff. He says the perfect amount of nutmeg makes for a brilliant lasagna!
To layer the lasagna use any size tray, we like to use lots of the disposable foil trays so it’s portioned perfectly and an easy pre made meal for those who are in need! No washing up necessary.
What you want to do is begin with a layer of meat sauce, pasta sheet, Bechemel and a good grating of cheedar and Parmesan Reggiano. Layer 3 times and top with the cheeses.
Cook until golden and bubbly on the outside.