Today I am sharing with you my favourite Jamie Oliver lasagne recipe. I have LOTS of recipe books.. I mean lots and I love them, I read them as you would a normal book and sometimes it can take me a year to first try a recipe from a book but that doesn’t make it any less useful to me.
I had this for Christmas about 6 years ago and it’s been well used, so much so in fact that I was ever so slightly embarrassed showing it to Jamie Oliver to get signed at last years Big Festival. Splashes of tomato and olive oil along with post it notes on my favourite recipes but hey I’m sure he prefers them to be used.
Anyway the idea of the Ministry of Food book is that you learn a recipe and then pass it on, all of the meals are simple enough to make yet taste amazing. I have decided while I am having this temporary lull in creating my own recipes to share some of my favourites from the book with you as really that’s what it’s all about. If you are looking for a good basic recipe book to purchase I can’t recommend it enough.
To start here is my ultimate favourite recipe from this book, lasagne , there is something special about this lasagne. I’m not sure if its the combination of the two meats plus bacon or the creme fraiche and parmesan but it is seriously good.
You will need:
2 rashers of streaky bacon diced
2 medium onions diced
2 cloves of garlic crushed
2 carrots diced
2 sticks of celery diced
2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano
500g good quality minced beef or pork or half of each ( which is the best way )
2 tins of chopped tomatoes (400g)
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
a small bunch of fresh basil
50g Parmesan cheese
To make the lasagne:
250g lasagne sheets -I’ve used fresh, homemade and dried all with great results
1 x 500ml tub of creme fraiche
100g Parmesan cheese
1 large tomato
Place a large saucepan on a medium heat and add 2tbsp of olive oil, diced bacon and oregano and cook stirring occasionally until bacon is golden brown. Add all of your diced veg to the pan an cook for around 7-8 mins stirring regularly, by now your veg should be starting to colour and soften. Add all of your minced meat and chopped tomatoes then add 1/2 a tin of water ( the book says 1 tin but I find it makes the sauce too thin and watery) add salt and pepper.
Remove the leaves from your bunch of basil and place in fridge for later, chop the stalks finely and add to sauce. Bring to boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to gas mark 5. Remove sauce from heat and add 50g of Parmesan as well as tearing in your large basil leaves keeping any smaller ones for decoration later.
If using dry lasagne sheets place some boiling after in a pan to blanch them for a minute or so before use, if using fresh there is no need. Make sure to drain afterwards to get rid of excess water.
Start with a layer of bolognese the your lasagne sheets then a third of creme fraiche, seasoning and a third of Parmesan and repeat twice more. On the top layer decorate with sliced tomatoes and basil leaves before drizzling with olive oil.
Cover with foil and bake in oven for approx 20 minutes, remove foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. Serve with salad and garlic bread. Sublime.
I’ve cooked and eaten a lot of different lasagnes and aside from an incredible one I had in Milan in 2008 which will probably never be beaten this is the best. Definitely one to try and worth the extra effort. I’ve made this for so many people and I’ve never had a bad reaction – in fact everyone asks for more.
More favourites coming soon including chicken and leek stroganoff and vanilla cheesecake.