This was possibly my most ambitious challenge so far. I watched the Mary Berry Story on BBC last week and I saw her making a lasagne, I dont have any of her books, but I did find a recipe in the The Silver Spoonbook.
I started from scratch, the only thing I didn’t do was mince the beef, but I did make the pasta, the bolognese and the white sauce from scratch.
I started with the pasta. Pasta is so easy to make (this is my 4th time making it), but I find the kneading such hard work as the dough isn’t as soft as bread dough. I did have to add in a little bit of water as the eggs weren’t enough to bring the flour together. Once the pasta was made, I put it in the fridge wrapped in cling film.
Recipe for pasta
300g 00 flour
pinch of salt
splash of water (optional – only needed if the eggs dont have enough liquid in them)
Weigh the flour, add the salt and tip on to a work surface. Make a well in the middle and then crack the eggs in to that. Slowly mix the flour and eggs with your hands. Once a dough has formed, knead for 10 minutes until the dough is soft.
PHOTO: Making pasta by hand
To make the bolognese….
dice the veg, fry until soft
add the beef mince and cook
add the white wine and cover
once the wine has evaporated, add the passata and cook for 30 minutes.
At this point, I rolled the pasta out and left it to dry before making the bechemel.
MAKING THE BECHEMEL
This was my first attempt (ever!) at making a bechemel sauce, so I took advice here from Dave and strayed from the recipe in the book. I also made double the amount needed so that leftovers could be used for a parsley sauce/croque monsieur.
The recipe in the book is quite simple, Dave suggested infusing the milk with onion, bay and clove which I did by warming the milk with those ingredients, then leaving it to cool before making the bechemel sauce. It was hard work making the sauce; I melted the butter then whisked in the flour, once mixed I whisked in the (strained) milk and whisked constantly until it boiled (this took a VERY long time!), then it simmered for 20 minutes and was ready to use.
After cooking the pasta it was finally time to layer up the lasagne! I added in some grated parmesan on each layer alongside the bechemel and meat sauce.
The lasagne cooked in the oven at 180 for 30 minutes. We served it with some garlic spinach and a large glass of wine!
Although it took me nearly 4 hours to make, I thought the lasagne tasted fantastic and it’s definitely something I’ll make again. I think I’ll make double the amount so that plenty could be frozen.
View the book on Amazon: The Silver Spoon