2010 reflections + Marie Claire lasagne

January 2, 2011
By

Wow – 2011! According to old 70’s Sci-Fi movies we should all being flying our own personal spaceship car and wearing space age suits like The Jetsons. And although technology has come a long way, we are a far cry from our own personal robot maid. I’m still hopeful though ;)

This year we all decided to have a low key NYE with close friends, cocktails and pyjamas. OK we may all be averaging 30 but we can still have a sleepover like the best of them!

We were all to bring a spirit each for the cocktails and a side dish to go with the copious amount of meat for the barbeque. Being fashionably late to discuss with the hosts what to bring, all salads were already accounted for so he had asked Stud to see if maybe I could make a lasagne (one I had previously made when said host, wife and another couple came over for dinner not too long ago and it was a huge success) so off to the shops I went to grab all my ingredients.

I had decided to make all the layers etc but not put it in the oven until we had arrived so it could cook there and be piping with the rest of the meal.

First you start with the bolognaise and let that get to know each other for about an hour while you make the béchamel and wilt the spinach. Once all is done, it’s just a case of layering.

Everyone (thankfully) liked the lasagne and commented throughout the meal. It’s always a great feeling when people comment on my food. That’s what it’s all about and it definitely makes it worthwhile.

This lasagne was adapted from my Marie Claire Dinner book so this is really a 2011, New Year (ongoing) Recipe Resolution and a reflection post all in one.

Now to the reflection. It’s been a big year for both Stud and I. Between the purchase and fix up of our new home, both of us starting new roles at work, getting Dining With a Stud off the ground, Stud’s parents arriving and seeing the great life we have built for ourselves and how happy we are, it’s been a great one and I can’t wait to see what 2011 has in store.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
50g pancetta, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
2 carrots, grated
2 celery stalks, diced
125g mushrooms, chopped
500g pork mince
500g beef mince
2 x 400g chopped canned tomatoes
250ml red wine
250ml beef stock
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 x 150g bags baby spinach
60g butter
4 tablespoons plain flour
500ml milk
200g ricotta cheese
1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
50g grated parmesan cheese
250g fresh lasagna sheets
250g provolone cheese, sliced
100g grated parmesan cheese, extra

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Cook the garlic, pancetta and fresh vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring.

2. Increase the heat, add the beef and brown.

Add the tomato, wine, stock, oregano and tomato paste.

3. Bring to the boil, stirring, then simmer for 50 minutes. Meanwhile steam the spinach to wilt; squeeze dry.

4. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan and cook the flour to make a smooth paste. Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the milk until smooth.

5. Return to the heat and stir until the sauce boils and thickens. Cook over low heat for a minute, and then stir in the ricotta, nutmeg and parmesan and cook until melted.

Preheat the oven to 180c.

6. Grease a lasagne dish. Layer one-third of the meat sauce, then pasta sheets, then 185ml of cheese sauce. Top with half the spinach and half the provolone.

Continue layering; top with extra parmesan. Bake for 45 minutes.

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These views are mine and mine only. I don't claim to be any kind of professional food critic, I just know what I do and don't like and express accordingly. Please contact me first if you wish to use any of my images for another purpose.