There is something quite therapeutic about making a lasagne. It’s not something to be rushed or raced, it is to be lovingly created over a couple of hours on a lazy afternoon. Whenever I make lasagne (which is quite often if I’m honest), the whole experience is something I savour – from slowly simmering the ravishing ragu to whisking up a creamy cheese sauce to complement it.
Personally, I find the whole “chuck a jar of readymade” anything into a dish a bit wrong, unless I made it of course (there’s always a couple of jars of my tomato sauce in the fridge). It takes minutes to whip up a white sauce from roux to ready – all you need is a chunk of butter, a pint of milk & a scoop of flour! Plus jars tend to be laced with lots of other things like additional salt, sugar & unpronounceable ingredients (if you can’t say it, don’t eat it!).
Pasta on the other hand is personal, whether you buy it or make your own, no-one should judge you – it’s down to individual choice. I love making my own pasta, it’s something I’m truly passionate about, but I also use dried. There is a huge array of dried pasta in my pantry – a whole shelf is dedicated to it & I even have a stash of random shapes in another cupboard, because I keep any unused leftovers for other recipes (my husband will be calling Pasta Addicts Anonymous for me now).
The best bit is sandwiching all the fabulous fillings between layers of pasta, then drenching the top with grated cheese & a sprinkling of dried Oregano (gently rub it between your fingertips as you scatter it to release it’s pungent perfume). Once finished, I like to leave it to rest in a cold oven for at least an hour, sometimes longer & on occasion in the fridge overnight, just to let everything settle & the flavours develop. It’s definitely worth the wait! Then it’s baked slowly for an hour – the oozy, melting cheese creating a crispy topping, as the lasagne fills the house with it’s luscious scent.
Because it’s crammed full of rich flavours, all it needs is a green salad splashed with a bit of balsamic vinegar, a squeeze of lemon & a good glass of red wine.
Share the love (of lasagne)! A x