'Proper Lasagne'

Arch

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My boss has an Italian auntie, and she was telling him about when she was a child and they lived on a farm. The 'cooker' was huge old range with an open fire, and hook to hang a pot on over it. Lasagne was a twice yearly treat at Christmas and Easter, and baked in the embers beside the fire.

Apparently, traditional lasagne didn't have bechamel sauce in it at all. There were layers of meat ragu, and pasta, but instead of white sauce, beaten egg was drizzled between them. There might have been cheese on top, he didn't mention that.

It got me and NT thinking, about doing lasagne without white sauce, but with a crispy topping, perhaps cheese and breadcrumbs, or NT suggested a top layer of pasta shapes and cheese, to give crunchy textured bits on top....
 
As I live in France, I sometimes look at French expat forums. One person retold the story of a friend who couldn't understand why they were living in France.

"It's ridiculous - you can't get Red Leicester cheese - how are you supposed to make proper Lasagne?" :roflmao::roflmao::roflmao:
 
I would think that would work quite well, Arch. It would make the lasagne firmer, so it would look better on the plate. I often top pasta bakes with a mix of cheese and breadcrumbs. You could also mix in a little freeze dried or finely chopped fresh parsley for more colour and flavour.
 
Well, Lasagne of a sort is on the cards for next weekend. I found in the recycling, a Dolmio "lasagne kit". A jar of tomato sauce, a jar of white sauce, and sheets of lasagne, all in one box, unopened. Just add meat... After its 'Best Before' date, but it'll be fine

And cheese on top, with something to give a bit of crunch.

I don't normally resort to ready made sauces like this, but I don't turn my nose up at a freebie!
 
Sometimes, ready made sauces are as good as those you can make yourself. A few weeks ago, four friends came to help us put up our garden shed. As we had no idea what time it would be finished, I made a chilli con carne and put some jacket potatoes in the oven for us to eat when the work was done. I had a couple of jars of Uncle Ben's chilli sauce in stock, so I used that, as I had no tinned or fresh tomatoes on hand. They loved it, and even asked me for the recipe!
 
Well, the Lasagnes are in the oven (one big dish, one little one). Layered meat ragu, white sauce (from a jar), and lasagne, with a topping of cooked penne, breadcrumbs and grated cheese.

Today we'll have 2/3 of the big one, with salad, and tomorrow the leftovers with veg.
 
Photo of dinner. It didn't last long....:whistling:
DSC_1352.JPG
 
Went well!

I made one mistake, I put the breadcrumbs on and then the grated cheese, when I should have mixed them really, because there was a layer of breadcrumbs and a crust of cheese, instead of a crumble effect. Tasty though.

The salad is Iceberg lettuce, sliced peppers, sliced avocado, sliced mozzarella and tomato, with a lime and olive oil dressing.

There's the same amount left for tomorrow, which we'll have with new potatoes (and probably the rest of the dressing), and carrots.
 
I never think of putting avocado in a regular salad, although I do serve it up with prawns and make guacamole. I'll try it next time, as they're very cheap here. Like the sound of the lime and olive oil dressing as well. Can I come to dinner when we're in the UK, please? :)
 
I never think of putting avocado in a regular salad, although I do serve it up with prawns and make guacamole. I'll try it next time, as they're very cheap here. Like the sound of the lime and olive oil dressing as well. Can I come to dinner when we're in the UK, please? :)
We'll need to make a little more room around Arch's table...:whistling:
Also you'd need to bring your own laptop!:laugh:
 
I never think of putting avocado in a regular salad, although I do serve it up with prawns and make guacamole. I'll try it next time, as they're very cheap here. Like the sound of the lime and olive oil dressing as well. Can I come to dinner when we're in the UK, please? :)

Sure, just drop by!:wink:

The avocado salad is a nice one - it's got lots of different textures, and the sharpness of the lime dressing counters the richness of the avocado, while mingling nicely with the creaminess of the lasagne.
 
I've heard of Sicilians adding stuff like hard boiled eggs to their sauces and baked pasta dishes. I think it was just done as an inexpensive means of adding protein to the meal. I do it once in while when I make baked rigatoni - add some hard boiled egg and diced ham, along with dollops of ricotta to the sauce. The method you are describing might have also been to help the lasagna "set". When we make it we usually mix egg with ricotta cheese and herbs and use that as one of the layers between the pasta, cheese and meat. We don't use a "bechemel" sauce, the ricotta sauce is what replaces that I suppose. A bechemel seems like it might be a little too rich imo, since it's much heavier and starchier.
 
Italians, no offense to them, but have their own way of making food. I make lasanga the way I like it. Cheese, sauce, pasta, ricotta smeared on pasta, spinach or broccoli on the ricotta.
 
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