Thursday, 22 November 2012

Homemade Lasagne & Pesto

So...while watching ITV's This Morning this week with my breakfast and a cuppa (a daily tradition while I'm stuck at home with a slipped disc) I saw the lovely TV chef Gino D'Acampo making a lasagne. 

This really put me in the mood to make one, as I haven't for AGES. Hubby has made me one with the normal version of 'from scratch' (jarred sauces & pasta sheets) which was nice, and undoubtedly better than any pre-made one you can buy from the supermarket, but I wanted to try a literal 'from scratch' version - making all the sauce and the pasta sheets. 

Gino inspired me with a lovely twist to the usual lasagne recipe by suggesting that you make your own pesto (which I do often) and put some of it in the béchamel sauce...what a fab idea!!

Here is Gino's recipe for Lasagne (using pasta sheets)

And here is how I made my version....

Blitz up the following with a hand blender or food processor:
2 tbsps pine nuts
3 big handfuls of fresh basil
1 tbsp grated parmesan
olive oil to loosen to paste 
(add oil to your own taste - some people like thick pesto, some thinner - just keep tasting until it is right for you)

Béchamel  sauce:
large knob butter
2 tbsp plain flour
(make a roux)
add milk to thickness you desire
then add...
grating of nutmeg
salt & pepper
a generous handful of grated parmesan
2 tbsps homemade pesto

Mince & Sauce:
500g beef mince
onion chopped
1 tsp marmite
1 spag bol oxo cube
tinned tomatoes
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
baby plum tomoatoes halved
fresh basil
1 x mini bottle of favourite red wine
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 x bouquet garni
1 x bay leaf 

300g plain flour 
(you can use special '00' flour, but plain does the job too!)
3 eggs

Sift flour onto board, make a well in middle and crack in 3 eggs, work quickly to mix this to a dough, making sure all the eggs are incorporated. 

Knead the dough well for about 10 mins (this is hard work, but will work the gluten in the dough, making it nice and stretchy). Wrap in cling film & chill for 30 mins. 
Once chilled, roll out onto a floured surface - the key is to get the pasta as thin as possible.

 Once satisfied - cut to size and then layer up your lasagne. Meat/Pasta/Sauce/Meat/Pasta/Sauce ... grating of parmesan & slices of mozzarella to top.

Bake for 30 mins at 170 degrees until bubbling & golden brown....

Tuck in...

It was SOOOOOO yummy! :-)

Keep any left over pasta wrapped in cling film & pesto in a sealed pot in the fridge and use in the week for a quick lunch! (it cooks in 2-3 mins in boiling water & you can cut any shape you for kids with small shaped cutters!) :-)

My Lunch Today....

I quickly rolled out the left over pasta really thinly. Sliced with a sharp knife to make tagliatelle-type pieces. Boiled in salted water for 3 mins, drained & mixed in a generous spoonful of the delicious pesto! Et voila...lunch in less than 10 mins! :-)


I hope you enjoyed...and I would love to hear from you if you have a go and make this at home. 

Good luck & happy cooking

Mrs B



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