Food

Secrets to a good Lasagna

full lasagne

You’re probably thinking, that’s no lasagna, it looks like a pie or some kind of bread.. well, it’s my odd, or shall i say, uniquely shaped and yummy lasagna!

Did I mention I love pasta?

I seem to unknowingly love filled pasta such as ravioli and lasagna. Lasagna is a simple but filling and satisfying dish. The layers of soft pasta that have absorbed all the great flavours of the sauce sandwiched between ingredients that I enjoy. Put in any fillings of your choosing and combine them all together, and top it up with a creamy béchamel sauce and a layer of cheese on top. This is an ultimate comfort food and totally my go-to dish when I am feeling lazy or if I need to attend a potluck dinner.

In the recent months, I have made various types of lasagna’s, vegetarian to meat and playing around with the different flavours in the sauce. Yes, and also round, square and rectangular shapes.. which can be explained :)

BeFunky_IMG_3400.jpg lasagnehveglasagna vegglasagnaBeFunky_IMG_2815.jpg BeFunky_IMG_3345.jpg

One interesting topic that struck me was what kind of cheese do you add to your lasagna? I see there is a lot of debate online on which is the best. I’ve always had lasagna with béchamel sauce since young and as I grew up, I found variations with cottage cheese and ricotta cheese. It seems that everyone has their own style of lasagna. What’s your favourite?

For my most recent lasagna, I decided to take a look at Heston Blumenthal’s spaghetti bolognese recipe. For now, I don’t intend to fully follow his recipe, may be some day.. as it takes a huge amount of time, or shall I say few days to make. But, I used some tips here and there, and it gave it that extra ‘oomph’. Like the use of star anise, bay leaf, worcester sauce, fish sauce..  Let’s just say, I was in the kitchen for a number of hours for that one…! But the lasagnas disappeared very quickly – luckily I made two huge ones.

My version of a lasagna isn’t a complicated one, but here are few tips I can share with you:

  1. Use passata and canned chopped plum tomatoes for a more natural flavour for your sauce rather than a jar of ready made pasta sauce
  2. Add natural sweetness by finely dicing / grating carrots which will contribute to its wonderful flavours and add natural sweetness without using refined sugar
  3. Preparing the meat sauce the night before will give it some time to sit in the fridge and greatly enhance the flavours. I found an interesting article about the ‘science of leftovers’ which can help explain
  4. Parboil the pasta before layering, but only for a few minutes. Do not cook as suggested on the pack as this will overcook the pasta when it bakes in the oven. The pasta should still be quite hard. If using uncooked pasta this will soak up most of the sauce leaving the lasagna dry.
  5. Add nutmeg to your béchamel sauce this will give more flavour to your sauce.

What do you like to add in your lasagna? and do you have any interesting tips to share?

 

truly c -long

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