Sunday is my most favourite day for cooking. Unlike the working week or the day of chores that is Saturday, Sunday just lays out before you with plenty of time to dedicate to a long, luxurious culinary session.
Sometimes I use the weekend newspaper supplements as a source of inspiration, but more often that not I have more meals I’d like to trial than I have available Sundays to cook them.
Unlike Saturday that is often busy pottering around food stores and markets to purchase ingredients (or simply doing chores), Sunday is about a sunrise to sunset dedication to the meal preparation itself. It might be for a piece of meat that requires seven hours of cooking, a foodie extravaganza with many moving parts or a meal that requires a veritable army of sous chefs (well at least one) to assist in its assembly.
This lasagne falls into the latter category.
PORK & VEAL LASAGNE (Serves 6)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 carrots, diced
- 1 celery stick, diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 500gm pork and veal mince
- ¾ cup of white wine
- 400gm tin tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp thyme
- 500g 00 Flour
- 5 whole eggs
- Pinch salt
- 60gm butter, cubed
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 litre milk
- Grind nutmeg
- 75gm parmesan, grated
- 6 very thin slices of mozzarella.
- Fry the onion, carrot and celery in the olive oil for 5-10 minutes until vegetables are softened. Add the garlic and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the mince and cook until the meat changes colour and the mince starts to brown. With the temperature still up reasonable high add the white wine and cook until it evaporates.
- Throw in the remainder of the ingredients, some salt and pepper, give a big stir and leave to cook on a medium heat for 2 hours or until the house is completely filled with delicious smells. I quite like to do this in the oven as it gives me a chance to clean the kitchen for the other phases of the recipe.
- Tip the flour combined with the salt onto a clean surface and make a well in the centre. Crack eggs into the middle of the well and work until the ingredients are combined into a dough. Knead gently until well combined then wrap in plastic and place in fridge for an hour.
- Using a pasta maker roll the lasagne into pasta sheets with flour between the sheets so that they don’t stick.
- Cook the butter in a medium saucepan and when melted added the flour and couple for another two and a half minutes. Take the pot off the heat and whisk in the milk then return to the heat to thicken.
- Stir continuously until the sauce has thickened then add a grind of nutmeg and stir in the parmesan.
- To assemble the lasagne start with a layer of the bolognase followed by a coverage of the pasta sheets and a fairly then layer of béchamel. Repeat for around six layers finishing with the béchamel sauce. Top with slices of mozzarella and back in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Top of lasagne should be golden and pasta should be al dente.
Watch outs: Layers of meat sauce and béchamel should be used very sparingly so that the pasta is the hero of the dish. Your lasagne will stay together elegantly and you’ll achieve a great number of layers this way. Don’t be tempted to go cheese crazy on top – a healthy layer of sauce with a little cheese does work best. Also, make sure you leave the lasagne to rest for 5 minutes before serving so that the slices can stay together.