Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pasta/Lasagna and Bechamel Sauces - Our Old Family Recipe

Pasta/Lasagna Sauce

700g Mince (pork and veal mix 50/50 ratio)
2 Bottles of Passata(fill each 1/2 again with water) nb: each bottle is 680g
2 teaspoons sugar
1 chicken stock cube
2 cloves of minced garlic (optional)
1/2 teaspoon of ground chilli
1 branch of Basil
1 large brown onion

- Chop onion finely and cook until translucent.
- Add in mince and brown it off.
- Add in 2 bottles of passata, filling each half again with water to "rinse" out the bottle into the sauce.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground chilli (nb: this doesnt affect the taste, it is purely to retain the bright red colour - if you want spicy, add more chilli)
- Add 2 teaspoons of sugar.

- Crumble 1 chicken stock cube in.
- Add garlic (optional)
- Let simmer for at least 1/2 hour.
- Taste. Add salt/pepper to taste.
- Add in whole (washed) branch of Basil. Remove before serving.

- Sauce can be simmered for longer for a thicker sauce.
- The longer this is cooked, the better it can taste.
- This recipe freezes well, for up to 3 months.
- Recipe can be made without meat for Vegetarians.
- Use only jars/bottles of Italian crushed tomatoes, or home made.
- Do not use any other sort of mince. Pork/Veal mix or nothing!

Bechamel Sauce

1/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup butter
2.5 cups milk (Must be whole milk)
Salt - to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

- Fry the flour in butter (at moderate heat) - Roux method.
- Heat milk in a microwave until warm.
- Add milk a little bit at a time, making sure to remove any lumps.
- Keep stirring while sauce cooks and thickens.
- Sprinkle nutmeg over the top and stir in.

- If Storing or not using immediately, wrap with clingfilm right down onto the surface of the sauce.
- I strongly recommend pouring/using this sauce while it is warm and still relatively runny.
- In lasagne, sprinkle very lightly with cheese (parmesan) during construction.

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