Cosmo’s classic lasagne al forna
2 tbsp olive oil
½ large onion, peeled
1 large carrot, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 pinches dried oregano
300g minced beef
1 tbsp tomato pureé
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
30ml (2 tbsp) red wine
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
Pinch of ground nutmeg
60g cheddar cheese, grated
30g parmesan cheese, grated
6 sheets of ‘non-cook’ lasagne sheets
Now get cooking!
Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas mark 7. Heat the olive oil in a hot pan. Grate the onion and carrot and crush the garlic before frying together. Season with the bay leaf, a pinch of oregano, Worcestershire sauce and a little salt and pepper. Allow the onion to soften before making a well in the centre of the pan. Place the mince in the middle of the pan and stir to break it up. Add the tomato puree and allow to cook out for 30 seconds. Continue until all the meat has browned nicely. Add the wine and cook off the alcohol before adding the tomatoes. Leave to simmer for a further 2-3 minutes. Finally add the milk, turn off the heat and set aside.
To make the cheese sauce, first melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and using a wooden spoon, stir to form a paste. Over a gentle heat add a third of the milk, whisking to prevent any lumps forming. Add the rest of the milk a third at a time, whisking as you go. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of ground nutmeg. Allow the sauce to cook out for another minute before adding the Cheddar cheese. Stir and remove from the heat.
Spoon half of the meat sauce into the bottom of the baking dish and place pasta sheets on top (break the sheets if necessary to avoid any overlapping). Next, pour in just under half of the cheese sauce, and spread evenly using a spatula before spooning the remaining meat on top. Add the final layer of pasta and use the spatula to pour over the remaining cheese sauce.
Finish with the grated Parmesan and sprinkle with another pinch of oregano. Add a light seasoning of salt and pepper before cleaning the edges of the dish and placing in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
In the bottom of your salad bowl use a fork to whisk together the mustard, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Carefully open the head of lettuce, season inside with salt and pepper. Upend the lettuce headfirst into the salad bowl. Holding the root, wipe the leaves around the bowl to coat in the vinaigrette. Twist the root and pull it out. Turn the dressed head of lettuce onto a large plate and gently open out.
Portion out the lasagne and serve alongside a nice green salad.
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