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Friday Foods: Lasagna


Some time over the past few weeks, after re-reading Rinaz’s post on her veggie lasagna, I couldn’t get it out of my mind and I thought, why not attempt to make it. However, the local supermarket did not hate ricotta and thus, I had to no choice but revert to the usual meat based lasagna instead.

~ for ragu
250g of mince meat
1 medium onion
1 cloves garlic
1/2 tbs cayenne pepper (optional)
1 can Prego pasta sauce (onion, tomato and basil flavour)
1 1/2 tbs olive oil
salt to taste

~ for bechamel sauce
900ml milk
50g flour
50g butter
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

lasagna sheets
as much mozzarella cheese as you want (either the shredded ones or the soft mozzarella cheese if you can get them)

To make the ragu, heat the oil and fry the onions and garlic until the onion is transluscent.

Add in the meat and brown it. At this point, the juices from the mince meat will make the whole mixture all watery but that’s ok. Just keep on frying until all the liquid is gone.

Sprinkle the cayenne pepper all over the meat and onions and continue frying until the powder has suitably coated everything.

Add in the pasta sauce and stir. When the sauce starts to boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes and then take it off the fire.

For the bechamel sauce, melt the butter in a sauce pan and let it turn brown without burning it.

Add in the flour and keep on stirring to prevent any lumps.

Heat up the milk (in the microwave or on the stove) just under boiling point and add in the hot milk into the pan of frying flour, bit by bit. Whisk continuously to prevent any lumps to get a nice, smooth sauce.

Add in the nutmeg powder, pepper and salt to taste.

Take it off the fire and assemble the lasgana.

Oil the sides of the pan, size of your choosing, to prevent the sauce and lasagna sheets from sticking. Layer the bottom with the ragu, followed by the bechamel sauce, the shredded mozzarella (or pinches of the soft mozzarella) and a layer of the lasagna sheets.

Repeat the layers until you’ve filled the pan and on the top, sprinkle more mozzarella.

Bake for 20-30 minutes at 200°C.

Comments: When I made this, I realised that the pasta sauce was a little sweet, so more salt should be added to your taste. Unless you like it sweet. Also, since recipes are just a guideline, you can tweak it to however you want it, to your taste.

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