Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Jamie Oliver's Lasagna
I am very much in love with this cookbook. I have yet to find a bad recipe in the lot. I find with cookbooks you have to like the author's style of cooking or it's of no use to you. I own probably 20-25 cookbooks but use 5 on a regular basis. This is now part of my regular rotation. What I like about it is that it is simple enough for beginning cooks to use, but interesting enough for those of us who are comfortable in a kitchen to enjoy.
*the original recipe uses smoked bacon in it (2 slices), I have a pork intolerance so I left it out
2 medium onions
2 cloves of garlic
2 celery stalks
2 heaped tsp dried oregano
1 pound ground beef
2 x 14 oz cans of tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
small bunch of fresh basil
2 oz parmesan cheese
For the Lasagna
8 oz dried egg lasagna sheets
2 cups creme fraiche or 2 cups thick sour cream (I used the sour cream)
4 oz parmesan cheese
1 large ripe tomato, sliced
Making the sauce
Peel and chop the veggies. Use a large casserole type pan on medium to high heat. Add 2 lugs of olive oil and the oregano. Add the veggies and stir around the pan until veggies are softened. Stir in the beef and the canned tomatoes. Fill one of the empty cans with water and add to the pan. Stir in a good pinch of salt and pepper. Pick the basil leaves and place in the fridge for later. Finely chop the basil stalks and stir into the pan. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring every now and again to stop it catching.
Preheat the oven to 375*. Remove the sauce from the heat. Grate the 2 oz of parm into the sauce. Tear and stir in any larger basil leaves, keeping the smaller ones aside for later.
Make the lasagna
Grate the 4 oz of cheese. Boil some water in a large pot. Add all of the lasagna sheets with a drizzle of oil and blanch for about 3-4 minutes. Drain the sheets in a colander and pat them dry. Spoon a third of the sauce into the bottom of a lasagna pan. Follow with a layer of lasagna sheets. Dollop a third of the sour cream or creme fraiche and smooth it out over the lasagna sheets. Sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and pepper and 1/3 of the grated parm. Repeat the layers twice more, finishing with the layer of sour cream and cheese. Top with some slices of tomato and scatter the basil leaves over top. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Cover with aluminum foil, place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 35 minutes until the lasagna is bubbling and golden. (Total cooking time 55 minutes).
(You'll notice from my picture that I used dried basil instead of fresh, it still tasted good, but fresh basil would have been even better)