Lasagne – Jamies Dinners

Jon cooked Jamie’s recipe for Simple Baked Lasagne from Jamie’s Dinners, my phone was running out of charge and the flash wasn’t working, the lasagne was nicely browned and not as dark as it looks in this picture. According to Jamie this serves 6, even with three teen boys 6 of us didn’t finish this, we had at least 2 more servings.

Jamie uses a creme fraiche mixture rather than a bechamel sauce, it works well I still prefer a bechamel sauce but would definitely use his creme fraiche mixture if I was short of time. He also uses a mixture of beef and pork which is very nice but I think I prefer a rich beef bolognese sauce. The other significant difference is the addition of roasted butternut squash layers which I would also do again.

Ingredients

  • 4 rashers pancetta or smoked bacon, finely sliced
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 handfuls of mixed fresh herbs (sage, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme)
  • olive oil
  • 400gr/14oz shin of beef or stewing beef, minced coarsely
  • 200gr/7oz pork belly, skin removed, minced
  • 2 x 400gr tins of good quality plum tomatoes
  • 2 glasses of red wine or water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 butternut squash, baked, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, bashed
  • 1 dried red chilli, bashed
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 400gr/14oz fresh lasagne sheets
  • 400gr/14oz mozzarella, torn up

For the White Sauce

  • 1 x 500ml tub of creme fraiche
  • 3 anchovies, finely chopped
  • 2 handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • optional – a little milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
  2. Slowly fry the pancetta and cinnamon until golden, then add the onion, carrot, garlic and herbs and about 4 tablespoons of olive oil.  Mix together, then add the beef and pork.  Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the tinned tomatoes and the wine or water.  Add the bay leaves and bring to the boil.
  3. Then either place in the preheated oven for 2 hours or simmer on the hob over a gentle heat for around an hour and a half.
  4. Rub your butternut squash slices with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and the bashed-up coriander seeds and chilli.  Place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for the last 45 minutes of cooking the sauce.
  5. When the sauce is done, season to taste and put to one side.
  6. Mix together your creme fraiche, anchovies, and a handful of Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper.  You may need to loosen the mixture with a little milk.
  7. Turn the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.
  8. To assemble the lasagne, rub an earthenware lasagne dish with olive oil, lay some sheets of lasagne over the bottom and drape them over the sides.
  9. Add a layer of meat, a little white sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan.
  10. Break the butternut squash into pieces and use this as one layer, then repeat the layers, finishing with a layer of pasta covered in white sauce.
  11. Tear over the mozzarella and sprinkle with some extra Parmesan.  Cook in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
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