If you’re keen on homemade lasagne made in the traditional old fashioned Italian style, then Giuseppe’s lasagne is for you.
(1) Mozarella cheese (four to six, large)
(2) Eggs (four to six)
(3) VEGE OPTION: Ricotta cheese (two containers) and spinach (if you are making the vegetarian lasagne); or MEAT OPTION: mince meat (500 grams) (if you are making the standard meat lasagne)
(4) Lasagne pasta strips (homemade or store bought)
(5) Basil (fresh or dried) (one or two teaspoons)
(6) Tomato paste (four or five packets/tins)
(7) Fresh tomatos (two or three)
(8) Onions (white and/or red) (two or three)
(9) A couple of cups worth of vegetables to your liking – choose from aubergines (eggplant); capsicums (red, orange, green etc); carrot, leek, squash, courgettes (zucchini/marrow), celery, capsciums (orange, red, green etc), spinach, and so on.
a) Saucepan 1: EGGS: Boil the eggs in a saucepan until they are hard boiled, then leave them to cool before peeling off the hard shell.
b) Saucepan 2: SAUCE: With olive oil, fry some cut onions (white and/or red onions), then add your cut vegetables. Add whatever vegetables you happen to have in your fridge. For suggestions you could include carrot, leek, squash, aubergine (egg plant), courgettes (zucchini/marrow), celery, capsciums (orange, red, green etc), and spinach. Then add your tomato paste (usually found in cartons or tins, note that tomato paste is not the same as tomato sauce or plain whole tomatoes). If you do not have any tomato paste then you can substitute with a tin of plain whole tomatoes instead. Add in another two or three fresh tomatos chopped into small pieces. Add a pinch of brown sugar (to avoid the sauce becoming acidic). Lastly, add just less than 1 tsp of basil (fresh is best but dried basil will suffice). Turn the hob down to the lowest number to let the sauce simmer, and leave on the element for another 45 to 60 minutes so that the vegetables almost dissolve into the tomato paste thus creating the flavours and texture of your sauce.
c) MEAT or VEGETARIAN: If you are making a meat lasagne then add your mince meat to the sauce in Saucepan 2, and leave to cook. If you are making a vegetable lasagne then you will need to get some ricotta cheese and cook some spinach ready for the next stage.
d) OVEN DISH: Get a long rectagular oven dish and either butter it or spread a thin layer of olive oil on the bottom of the dish and the sides. Don’t forget to turn your oven on now to pre-heat it.
e) On the bottom of the oven dish, pour in a little of your sauce until you have covered the bottom of the dish. Remember to be use your sauce sparingly at this stage because you need enough sauce for all your layers. You should aim to do around six or seven layers.
f) now place the strips of lasagne (uncooked) to cover the width and length of the dish. After this add a little more sauce on top of the lasagne.
g) Add some of our hard boiled eggs (cut into thin slices) and spread your eggs randomly around the dish.
h) Add some of your mozarella cheese (cut into thin slices) and spread these pieces randomly around the dish.
i) Now if you are making a vegetarian lasagne then you should now spread some ricotta cheese over the dish so that you cover up the sauce. Add a little bit of your cooked spinach. If you are making the meat lasagne then you should add pieces of ham instead. Preferbly gammon steak, but any sort of cooked ham will do.
j) Next, add your strips of lasagne so that they cover the width of the oven dish. If you have made your own homemade lasagne then your pasta will naturally be soft. If you have bought your lasagna strips in a box from the supermarket, then your pasta will be very hard, so to make your lasagne fit your oven dish precisely you will need to break off pieces of your pasta so that the pasta covers the entire width.
k) Now you will repeat the above three steps, in the same order, until you have used up all your sauce, eggs, mozarella etc. For example (1) sauce; (2) ricotta cheese & spinach (if vegetarian); (3) hard boiled egg; (4) mozarella cheese; (5) pasta (lasagne strips). Ideally, you should end up with at least five or six layers of pasta in your lasagne.
l) Add mozarella cheese to the very top layer of the oven dish.
m) Place your oven dish into the oven, and cook at 180 degrees celcius for 25 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown.
(n) After its cooked, sit back, relax, and enjoy! Lasagne is great cold too. Be warned if you are eating it hot, try not to burn your tongue, you may prefer to leave it to cool a little bit first.