Saturday, 28 February 2009

Lasagne - The way I made it

Yesterday, we made lasagne. Yes, the classic Italian dish made with layers of pasta, tomato sauce and cheese. It turned out alright, considering this is my first attempt at making one from scratch. As usual, I didn't follow any recipe and just used whatever I had in the fridge and store cupboard.

Preparation time: 30 mins

Cooking time: 1 hour

500g on minced beef
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
A can of chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoon of dried Basil leaves
2 tablespoon of Oregano
A dash of red wine
1 tablespoon of Bertolli Olivio spread (margarine made with olive oil)
3 tablespoon of olive oil

50g of plain flour
150ml of milk
50ml of white wine
1 tub of ricotta cheese
50g of cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon of dried parsley
Salt, sugar and pepper (adjust accordingly to suit your taste)
Lasagne sheets
Some pasta to cover the gap (The sheets were not big enough to cover the dish)

How I did it:
  • To make the bolognese sauce, firstly heat the olive oil in the frying pan. Finely dice the onion and fry it until it turns slightly brown. Add in some garlic as well. Add in the mince and mix it together with the onion. Add in your chopped tomato, basil and oregano leaves. Add in 2 tablespoon of sugar, 2 tablespoon of salt and pepper to suit your taste. Let it simmer for about 15 mins or so. Pour in a dash of red wine. Turn off the heat and let it rest.

  • To make the white sauce, heat a pan with a teaspoon of olive oil and some margarine(I use Bertolli margarine because I forgot to defrost the butter from the freezer). Add in your milk, dried parsley and garlic and bring it to a boil. Add in the flour after the milk start simmering to thicken the sauce. Add some salt to give it some taste. Add in your white wine after that. Turn of the heat and continue stirring to remove the lumps caused by the flour. Add the cheddar cheese now and continue stirring. After 3-5 minutes, add in the ricotta cheese. Continue stirring to blend in the cheese.
  • Preheat your oven at 200°C. Now you can start your layering process. Pour a little olive oil at the bottom of the ovenproof dish. I added a layer of white sauce at the bottom before putting my first layer of pasta. Arrange the pasta so that it covers the entire surface of the dish. Pour in the white sauce to cover the pasta sheet. Add the bolognese sauce to cover the white sauce. Repeat the same process until the dish is nearly full. The final layer should be covered with white sauce only. I ran out of white sauce so my top was a little too dry (That is the problem when you don't follow recipe). Note to self, add more milk and flour the next time I do this.

  • Cover your dish with an aluminium foil and pop it in the oven for 40 mins. Take the lasagne out and remove the aluminium foil. Pop it back in the oven for another 5 to 10 mins to get the nice golden colour at the top. There you go, my first home-made lasagne. DONE!
    As usual, Steph was
    very complimentary about my dish. I felt that it was ok. I had limited ingredients to work with so it was average for me. It would taste a lot better if I had some extra cheese sauce for the top and grated Parmesan between each layer.

    Will try to improvise next time by using coconut milk to give it an extra richness and definitely using butter instead of margarine.



  1. Adrian, its time you came back and cook us a feast!! If you open restaurant, i also wanna be your shareholder :P

  2. Yes..yes...will have to organise something when I go back to Malaysia.
    I will definitely invite you to be one of the shareholders. I bet we all want to escape the corporate world one day. Fingers crossed that our dreams will come true. :)

  3. yeh yeh!! i can help you wash plates also .. haha


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