I have been promising to buy a pasta maker for years but, for some reason, I have never got around to hit. Well, that has now changed thanks to a lovely little birthday gift . I can finally make our family pasta from scratch, although how regular that will be remains to be seen! Hopefully it won't be resigned to the kitchen cupboard along with all the other kitchen paraphernalia I excitedly bought but then out of space/enthusiasm/energy for. So far, I am loving practising new variations alongside my little helper.
I'm sure that our pasta is nowhere near as good as it could be but hey, it's fun trying to get it just right. After lots of playing around with different shapes and fillings, our latest dish was a simple lasagne, that doesn't test your skills too much. Lasagne is such a classic dish and will always hit the spot on a cold and dreary evening. Here's my recipe, made with veal.
Fresh lasagne sheets ( I used 9 long, thin sheets)
400g veal mince
1 tin chopped Italian tomatoes
1 white onion, chopped finely
1 carrot, diced
2 tbls olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
Handful of fresh basil
1/2 tsp oregano
100ml white wine
25g plain flour
40g cheddar cheese
40g Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees/Gas Mark 6. Heat the oil in a pan and add the mince, until it starts to brown. Add in the onions, garlic and carrots and cook until softened. Add in the tomatoes, oregano, seasoning and wine. Simmer for 20 minutes then add in the fresh basil.
2. To make the white sauce, melt butter in a pan the stir in the flour. Make sure you mix quickly to avoid lumps. Once the mixture starts to bubble, add in the link bit by bit, so sauce remains smooth. Heat until the sauce starts to thicken then add in the cheddar until it melts.
3. Take your pre-prepared pasta and line a large lasagne dish with one layer. Add in a layer of the meat sauce then another layer of pasta followed by the remaining meat sauce. Put a final layer of pasta over the meat sauce and top with the white sauce. Grate the parmesan cheese over the top.
4. Cook in oven for 30 minutes, until the top is bubbling and has a light brown finish.