Every so often I’m hit by a wild craving for lasagne. It just has to be satisfied, even if I have cauliflower in the fridge needing used up. Yep, you heard me. Cauliflower.
Not a classic pairing, lasagne with cauliflower, I’ll admit.
But this was actually seriously yum. Thus reinforcing my belief that lasagne makes the world a better place.
There are loads of ways to make lasagne al forno (the full name of the dish – ‘lasagne’ actually just means the sheets of pasta, while ‘al forno’ means done in the oven). I am unashamedly blinkered when it comes to any but my own – I love it that much.
I’ll give you the brief version, since you probably know, or can find out, how to make white / béchamel sauce.
How to make a yummy lasagne
- Start by preheating the oven to 160°C.
Prepare the red sauce first
- Using a generous amount of olive oil, sauté a finely sliced onion. When softened, add a 700 ml bottle of tomato passata (sieved tomatoes) and bring up to heat. Add the herbs you’re in the mood for – here I used basil and bay, but you could also go for a more pizza-like flavour with oregano. Salt to taste. Simmer for a while – longer is better – but stir from time to time so it doesn’t stick.
Prepare the filling next
- I lightly steamed small florets of cauliflower – keeping them firm rather than mushy.
Grate cheese and crumb bread for the top
- Parmigiano is the best cheese to use. Cheddar is just sacrilege.
Make the béchamel when everything else is ready
- Keep it runny.
- Red, filling, white, lasagne sheet, repeat! If you like more pasta, try red, filling, sheet, white, filling, sheet, repeat. Finish with sheet, white, crumb/cheese mix.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until done
Let it sit, out of the oven, for 5 minutes before serving – it firms up a bit. Okay, so I don’t always have the willpower to do this, but do as I say, not as I do, okay?