We’ve had outdoor summertime to regenerate, think and just be
Time in the waves, time to listen to one and other, time to play….
Today the wind whistles through the trees, the clouds are covering the sun and we’re drawn back to our kitchen. We sit to discuss dinner and agree on lasagna, a strong, deep, dense dish that needs nothing more to be enjoyed but the company of one and other.
We assemble this dish together. My husband makes the ragu’, I make the besciamella , then Coco and Felix put slices of mozzarella over the top. Sometimes I add a bit of gorgonzola to half of the lasagna so Mike and I get an extra kick of flavor on our side of the dish!
Ricetta (x4 people).
For the ragu’:
1 celery stalk
30-50g of butter
250 g minced beef
250 g minced pork
1 glass red wine
250ml beef broth
500g crushed tomatoes
a small glass of milk
500g besciamella for this you will need:
500 ml whole milk.
sprinkle of nutmeg.
pinch of salt.
A bit of gorgonzola and a bit of mozzarella (optional)
Chop the carrot, onion and celery (in Italian this is called a battuto)
Heat the oil and the butter in a pan, add your battutto and the chopped up pancetta. Cook until the onion begins to brown and the carrots and celery soften. You want some brown bits, this is flavour!
Add the meat and mix well until it darkens and begins to cook ( about 5 minutes). Add the glass of wine and let the alcohol evaporate, then add the tomatoes and the broth. Bring to the boil then turn down the heat, add salt pepper and a small spoon of sugar (to combat the acidity of the tomatoes) stir, partially cover the pot and slowly simmer for at least a couple of hours. At this point add in the cup of milk, stir and let rest, this will bring the dish together.
Once your ragu’ is ready, make the besciamella.
Heat the butter in a small saucepan, add the flour and whisk quickly working fast and allow to cook for at least one minute (don’t stop stirring!).
Start adding in the milk slowly and keep mixing while you allow the mixture to thicken (this will happen fast!). Once you have poured in all the milk wait until you have the consistency you like. ( I like to keep in slightly liquid in order for it to go onto the lasagna easily, and results in a lighter dish all around. If necessary I add in a bit more milk to achieve this result). Then add salt and grated nutmeg to taste.
Now you are ready to assemble!
A bit of besciamella on the bottom of your lasagna dish (so the first layer does not stick to the pan) then stick down lasagna sheets, ragu’, parmigiano and a swirl of besciamella . Repeat this action until you finish all the ingredients (usually about 3 layers). When you get to the top you can put the mozzarella on one side and gorgonzola on the other…to make everyone happy!
Put in the oven at 180 for about 40 minutes. This dish keeps well, once assembled, in the fridge uncooked till the next day…enjoy!