Hello, hello, hello!
I had the chance to have a friend over for dinner for the first time in quite a while, so of course I wanted to whip up something delicious. I had a few ideas, but I messaged her to see what she’d like to eat and she suggested pasta! So I thought, hmmm, here might be a chance to have a go at a pasta dish we don’t often eat/make in our house due to it being so time consuming and so full of lactose it’s often enough to make me sick. Lasagne! Delicious lasagne!
Well, this lasagne lived up to the reviews. The simple ragu was mouthwatering, and is going to become the base for all future Spaghetti Bolognese dishes we make because I loved it so much. The besciamella was also quite simple, although fair warning, I doubt the process I used to make it is at all the standard one. So I won’t be surprised if a few people look at the method behind the madness and are quite confused! But whatever the method, the results were superb, and the leftovers were added onto vegetables later as part of a veggie bake, so waste not want not!
The reason this is only optional lactose-free is because I understand a few people won’t have access to the same items I do. It’s not overly difficult for me to get lactose free cheese, as the same company who make the lactose free milk I drink at home also makes lactose free cheese. I also know other people won’t have to worry about the lactose. So in the recipe section I’ll post the original recipe plus my recommendations and my preferred ingredients! But I promise that if you do go lactose free on this recipe like me, the sauce is still lovely and creamy, and you won’t notice the difference!
Happy Fiesta Friday!
Adapted from Taste.com.au’s
Serves: 6, Prep: 25-30 mins, Cook: Allow up to 1hr 30 mins
- Oil for cooking
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1kg beef mince
- 160ml/2/3 cup red wine
- 1.4L passata sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- A generous sprinkling of dried oregano, thyme and basil
- Up to 2 x 250g packets of dried lasagne sheets, gluten free (I use San Remo’s, because they’re also dairy free)
- 125g unsalted butter, chopped (I use Nuttelex, to be dairy/lactose free)
- 115g/3/4 cup gluten free plain flour
- 1.5L/6 cups milk, warmed (Or lactose free milk)
- 40g/1/2 cup coarsely grated cheddar*
- 55g/1/2 cup coarsely grated mozzarella*
- 40g/1/2 cup finely grated parmesan* (Or instead of these three cheeses, use up to 1.5 cups lactose free cheese. I recommend Lidell’s)
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 180C, and set aside a large, deep, rectangular dish. It needs to have at least a 3L capacity.
- Cook up the onion and garlic in a large saucepan or pot until the onion has become translucent, then add in the mince and cook until the mince is brown.
- Add the wine, and cook for up to 4 mins, or until most of the wine has evaporated.
- Add in the tomato paste, the herbs, and stir. Then add in the tomato passata and stir thoroughly.
- Bring up to the boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for 30 mins, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, prepare the besciamella sauce.
- Melt the butter, or butter substitute, in a large saucepan or pot until hot and starting to get frothy.
- Remove from the heat, and whisk in in up to two thirds of the gluten free flour. Add the remaining third slowly, and if you find it’s getting too dry, add a smidge of the warmed milk until it’s smooth again.
- Bring up the heat, then pop the pot back on the heat and gradually whisk in the remainder of the warm milk. Whisk until the sauce thickens, and runs from the whisk in thick, creamy ribbons. Then add in half the cheese, or lactose free cheese, and the nutmeg and whisk until well combined.
- By this time the ragu should be done, or close to being done. Once it has had a half an hour, taste test and add salt or pepper as needed.
- Now is the time to put the lasagne together!
- Spread a thin layer of the ragu over the bottom of the dish, then cover with lasagne sheets. Add another thin layer of ragu and a thin layer of the besciamella sauce. Add another layer of lasagne sheets. Continue adding these layers of ragu, besciamella and pasta sheets until you have mostly filled the dish. Make sure the top layer is a more generous besciamella layer, and then top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for up to 30 mins, and then test. Gently poke the lasagne with a knife to test the pasta. If it feels tough, cook for longer, otherwise remove from the oven and serve!