In the Kitchen with Gordon Ramsay’s Lasagne al Forno

20 Apr

I wanted to cook something hearty yesterday and lasagne was just what I needed. But I wanted to try a new recipe and so, I sought help in my Gordon Ramsay cookbook. Now I’ve never actually made my own cream sauce, I usually just use ricotta or some delicious cheese. But what they hey, Gordon’s food has very strong flavours so I rolled with it. And it was yum! Forgot to take pics again but used the ones of the website.

Lasagne al Forno

4 Servings

Ingredients

For the Bolognaise Sauce:

  • 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 purée
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) red wine
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 50ml milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the white sauce:

  • 25g butter
  • 25g flour
  • 300ml milk
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 60g Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 30g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 6 sheets of ‘non-cook’ lasagne sheets

Preparation

1. Pre-heat the oven to 430˚F.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

Review

Instead of beef I thought I would kick it up a notch and used chicken sausage. I just removed them from the casings and cooked it like mince beef. It had some serious flavour! When I assembled everything, the sauce was just enough. I wish I could have had a little more.

Oddly enough I didn’t have any red wine in the house (I know!) But since I was cooking white meat I used cooking wine.

For the white sauce, I think I may have used a little too much flour. It was very gucky but just added a little more milk to smooth it out. But it may have compromised the taste. I used mozzarella cheese and parmesan instead of cheddar.

I also couldn’t find oven ready lasagne sheets. It was extremely troubling since this meant I’d have to precook the sheets. That was annoying and added another step I wasn’t interested in doing. This also meant I had to eyeball it. I ended up cooking way more lasagne sheets than I needed.

Overall the dish was very yummy and hearty! Next time I’ll be using more veg. That should be tasty for sure!

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