This week we are counting down to Christmas with three of my favorite holiday recipes.
Today’s recipe is one that my family begs me to make for Christmas dinner, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Lasagne. I first made it when I was doing my Food Revolution Challenge in 2010. My family talks about this every year and each year it is one of the contenders for our Christmas dinner. The best part about this is that you can make the sauce the day before, assemble the layers on Christmas afternoon and stick it in the oven. Have other family members bring a salad, bread and dessert and you are good to go! This is a real crowd pleaser!
Jamie Oliver’s Lasagne – Food Revolution, pg. 169
For the bolognese sauce:
– 2 slices of smoked bacon, preferably free-range or organic
– 2 medium onions
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 2 carrots
– 2 celery stalks
– olive oil
– 2 heaping teaspoons of dried oregano
– 1 pound of high quality ground beef or pork or mixture of two
– 2 14 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
– sea salt and pepper
– fresh basil
– 2 oz of parmesan cheese
For the lasagne:
– 8 oz dried egg lasagne sheets (I usually use 365 brand No Boil sheets, and they worked great)
– 2 cups of creme fraiche or thick sour cream
– 4 oz of parmesan cheese
– 1 large ripe tomato, sliced
– 4-6 basil leaves
To make the bolognese sauce:
Finely slice the bacon and chop up the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery into small dice. Place a large casserole-type pan on medium to high heat and add 2 lugs of olive oil, bacon and dried oregano – cook until bacon is lightly golden.
Add veggies to the pan and stir every 30 seconds for around 7 minutes or until softened and lightly colored. Stir in the ground meat and canned tomatoes.
Fill one of the tomato cans with water and add to pan
Stir in a good pinch of salt and pepper. Pick the basil leaves off and put in fridge for later. Finely chop the basil stalks and stir into pan. Bring to boil. Turn the heat down and simmer with lid on for 45 mins, stirring a couple times.
To finish the sauce:
Preheat oven to 375. Remove the bolognese sauce from heat. Finely grate 2 oz of parmesan into the sauce.
Tear and stir in any larger basil leaves, keeping smaller ones aside for top. Taste sauce and add more salt and pepper if needed.
To make the lasagne:
Grate 4 oz of parmesan. If you don’t use No Boil sheets, boil some water in a pan, then add the lasagne sheets with a drizzle of olive oil and blanch (slightly soften) for 3-4 minutes. Drain sheets and carefully pat dry with paper towel to absorb excess water. Spoon a third of the bolognese sauce into the bottom of a overproof dish.
Follow with a layer of lasagne sheets. Dollop a third of the creme fraiche and smooth over the lasagne sheets. Sprinkle one third of the parmesan cheese.
Add another layer of sauce and repeat with sheets and cheese, ending with creme fraiche and parmesan on top layer.
Top the creme and parmesan with sliced tomatoes and small basil leaves, drizzle with olive oil. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. After that, remove the foil and bake for 35 more minutes until the lasagne is bubbling and golden.
**Lasagna vs. Lasagne
You will noticed that I use the “with an e not an a” spelling in my posts. Lasagna is a flat, wide pasta noodle. For the dish made from this pasta, North American English speakers use the lasagna spelling and English speakers from outside North America usually use the lasagne spelling. The word is Italian, of course, and in Italian, lasagna is the singular noun for a single noodle and lasagne is the plural noun that is used for the dish, since it is made using many lasagna noodles. Jamie uses the correct Italian spelling in his cookbook and I choose to use it as well.