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Wednesday 30 November 2011

Sluttishly Savoury: Lovely Lasagne

It's a classic.

It's just what you need after your bus broke down leaving you and a number of irate passengers stranded on a cliff side for 45 minutes until a rescue bus arrives.

It's just what you need when you arrive home to find your washing machine has leaked foamy suds all over your original 1960s parquet.

It's just what you need when your bank stop your card because of "fraudulent activity" weeks before Christmas ... Ok, so it could be considered unusual for you to be buying two copies of Michael Buble's Christmas album complete with matching calendars; but if thats what your mother-in-law and step-mother-in-law want for Christmas, who are your bank to argue?!

Whatever your reasoning is for needing some soul food, you'll need:
  • Packet of lasagne sheets
  • Two tins of cherry tomatoes
  • Squirt of tomato puree
  • Three cloves of garlic
  • One large onion
  • Small tin of sweetcorn
  • 250g minced beef
  • Three carrots
  • Salt and pepper
  • Tablespoon of sugar
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 40g butter
  • 20g flour
  • 425ml milk (cold)
Make it!
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. You can fantasise about winning the lottery and telling your boss to stick his poxy job whilst you do this, if you want.
  • Chop the onion and garlic and fry in a little olive oil until the onion starts to go translucent and slightly golden. Add the mince and fry through until evenly browned.
  • Squirt in a little tomato puree and mix. Then add the two tins of cherry tomatoes. Add salt, pepper and sugar and mix. Let this mixture simmer.
  • Add the sweetcorn and chopped carrots.
  • Boil a little water and dip each lasagne leaf in the water for a few seconds before layering in an oven-proof dish with the mince. Leave to stand.
  • Whip up a quick roux by melting the butter in a pan. Once melted, remove from the heat and add the flour. Blend until completely combined - you're looking for a thin paste at this stage, so if you're unsure add the flour a little at a time.
  • Add the COLD milk to the roux whilst still off the head. Give a quick mix then return to a medium heat.
  • Keep stirring until the mixture begins to thicken. Add grated parmesan to taste.
  • Pour the sauce over the lasagne and pop into the oven for 25 minutes.
  • Consume with a VERY large glass of red, some lovely cabbage with peppercorn and butter or a small salad and have a RIGHT OLD MOAN about your rubbishy day.
Wine recommendation: Oh, those Italians know a thing or two about creating wine to match their food - so you can't really go wrong with any young Italian red, but my fave lasagne pals are Montepulciano d'Abruzzo or anything made from the Barbera grape. If Italian wines don't rock your socks, then try something equally round and soft from Southern France, particularly from Languedoc or Provence. Old World is best, but an uncomplicated Chilean Merlot might also do the job quite nicely.

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