FOR THE PASTA SHEETS
Bosh your flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle. Crack your 2 eggs into the middle and use a knife to mix the flour and eggs together into a paste in the centre of the bowl. After this, using your fingers bring any of the excess flour into the mixture binding it all together. Knead the pasta dough for 10-15 minutes, it will become glossy and silky smooth in your hands, then wrap it into cling film give it a big kiss and leave it in the fridge for minimum of an hour. Once chilled, sprinkle flour onto a cold surface and roll your pasta dough, folding it half after each rolling - finally roll out to the thinnest possible. Once thinly rolled cut into rectangles 10x5cms approx well not even approx, to fit nicely in your oven dish!!! leave to dry on the floured surface ready to build your lasagne - See our pasta class for more details.
FOR THE BÉCHAMEL SAUCE
In a pan gently warm your milk over a low heat with the onion peeled and cut in half, bay leaves ripped and whole black peppercorns cracked . Leave this for 15 minutes to infuse. Meanwhile you can make a roux, the other component to your simple white sauce. Melt your butter in a small pan and slowly stir in your flour. Keep this on the heat constantly stirring for 5 minutes to cook out the floury taste. Strain the onion and bay leaves and peppercorns out of your milk and combine your milk with your roux, whisking vigorously over a low heat until you have a beautiful glossy sauce. Now here's the thing - pulverise the retained onion, bay and peppercorns to add to your ragu later !! Slowly add in your grated parmesan. Leave to cool until later. TIP- If you come back to your sauce and it has thickened slightly, just add a drop more warmed milk and whisk in.
FOR THE SOFFRITTO
Chop all your vegetables finely or take the lazy option and use your food processor. Pour a big glug of olive oil into a warm pan and sauté your vegetables. After a few minutes add your herbs and salt and pepper cooking this all together for around 20 minutes until soft. Leave in your pan ready to make your ragu .
FOR THE TUSCAN RAGU
Add all your minced beef and pork to the soffritto in the pan and saute all together on a medium heat for about 15 minutes constantly stirring until your meat has browned and the aromas are sending you to a beautiful spot somewhere in the Italian countryside!!!! Take a little moment - tune in and feel this!!! In a separate pan crisp up your pancetta then add this beauty into your mince mix. Add in tomatoes and the tomato puree ,take the empty tomato cans and fill them with water and pour this into your ragu, not letting anything go to waste. Add in your herbs and the smashed up reserved onion, peppercorns and bay, adjust seasoning, taste, taste, taste, pop the lid on the pan and leave to simmer SLOWLY ....SLOWLY ....for 1/2 hour on a low heat until darker in colour and richer in taste. Keep seasoning to taste.
BUILDING YOUR LASAGNE
Get your big oven proof serving dish and scoop in some of your ragu sauce covering the bottom of the dish about 1/2 inch. Then layer on some of your fresh pasta sheets covering the 1st layer of ragu. On top on your pasta put a big dollop of your parmesan sauce and spread evenly over your pasta. Then repeat this layering again, ragu, pasta, sauce. Take a few big hand fulls of grated parmesan and sprinkle this all over the top of the dish. Clean the sides of your dish if you wish, with a clean cloth to make it look smart ready to serve. Bake in a preheated oven: Fan 180 degrees , Convection oven 200 degree,s for 30 mins turning after 15 minutes to ensure it's evenly cooked. When golden brown and bubbling remove from the oven and leave to sit for 5 minutes, YER RIGHT !!! then dig in and enjoy!
Serve with a Beautiful Fresh Salad some pimped up Ciabatta loaded with fresh butter and a ton of garlic and fresh chopped parsley STRAIGHT FROM THE OVEN.... more grated parmesan, and a bucket of ice cold Italian Beer.... MY FAVE SHARING DISH ANY TIME OF YEAR !!!!
8 Servings..... IF YOU ARE QUICK !!
BY PHOEBE GALE