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ERIN SULLEY: Share your recipes and you’ll never know when a great dish — like this incredible lasagna — will come your way

ERIN SULLEY: Share your recipes and you’ll never know when a great dish — like this incredible lasagna — will come your way

MOUNT PEARL, N.L. — Luckily, I have a few fellow foodies at work. Danielle, who shared some fresh lime leaves with me from her lime tree when I couldn’t find them in the store for my Thai soup recipe, and Shannon, whose mother, Virginia, has made several of the recipes from this column with her granddaughter, Emily.

I’m told they love to gather in the kitchen on Sundays to spend time together while cooking family meals. Is there anything better than hearing about families who bond over the simple art of cooking and baking?

Warms my heart.

Is it even truly an Italian lasagna without parmesan cheese? Erin Sulley photo – Erin Sulley photo

There is no doubt, preparing and eating food provides much more than a full belly.


“The most indispensable ingredient of all good home cooking: love for those you are cooking for.”
— Sophia Loren


I was gifted with a little piece of their homemade lasagna and my taste buds literally melted — in a good way. It’s filled with comforting ingredients and flavours. What really struck me is that it’s not made with the traditional red tomato sauce. Rather, you make a béchamel sauce from scratch. Another difference for me, it’s made with a mix of ground veal (or ground beef) and ground pork. Oh, it also has delicious pancetta.

Is there anything better than receiving a handwritten recipe? Erin Sulley photo - Erin Sulley photo
Is there anything better than receiving a handwritten recipe? Erin Sulley photo – Erin Sulley photo

Given my reaction, Shannon came in the following day with a handwritten recipe from her Mom.

Amazing!

I was so excited. Not just to receive a beautifully handwritten recipe (which deserves a column unto itself) but because I couldn’t wait to make it for my mother, who rarely has tomatoes in her diet anymore due to the acidic nature of the fruit.

Yes, tomato is a fruit.

Full disclosure, there are way too many ingredients and steps to write it all out.

As you’ll see from the title, it’s called Lucy Waverman’s Lasagna. I Googled this and ended up finding it in a Globe and Mail article as Lucy Waverman is an author, food journalist and columnist who wrote about this lasagna in 2005 titled, A Lasagna to Love.

The béchamel sauce is so simple yet adds such a wonderful buttery and creamy flavour to this lasagna. Erin Sulley photo - Erin Sulley photo
The béchamel sauce is so simple yet adds such a wonderful buttery and creamy flavour to this lasagna. Erin Sulley photo – Erin Sulley photo

So true, Lucy, so true.

Essentially, this recipe has three parts. There is the makings for the meat sauce, béchamel sauce and lasagna noodles.

The thing about this recipe is that you need time on your side. It is the kind of recipe that is perfect to make on a day that you have the latter part of the afternoon or early evening to leisurely cook and not be rushed or stressed. You know the kind — where you just want to chill, pour a glass of wine and enjoy making it rather than treating it like a chore.

Don’t forget, lasagna ages beautifully, like spaghetti, so perhaps you make it the day before.


“I never met a lasagna I didn’t like.”
— Jim Davis


The meat sauce is divine. I mean, come on, anything made from scratch is 100 per cent better. The meat sauce is filled with flavours of olive oil, pancetta, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley, pork, beef, white wine, canned tomatoes, beef stock and tomato paste.

In my humble opinion, the béchamel sauce is what really gives this lasagna recipe five gold foodie stars. It’s so simple, but absolutely delicious when paired with the meat sauce. It contains butter, flour, milk, a bay leaf and a pinch of nutmeg.

Laying the noodles on parchment paper is a game changer for prepping lasagna. Erin Sulley photo - Erin Sulley photo
Laying the noodles on parchment paper is a game changer for prepping lasagna. Erin Sulley photo – Erin Sulley photo

I used dried noodles. I also learned a helpful tip by placing the parboiled noodles on parchment paper in single layers when done. That way they’re easier to handle when layering the lasagna. If not, they would end up in a strainer all tangled and likely ripping when you try to tear them apart.


“People who love to eat are always the best people.” — Julia Child


From one foodie to another, I hope you enjoy Lucy Waverman’s lasagna, compliments of Virginia Stoddard. It’s great on its own as a meal, with a side of bread or salad.

Whatever way you decide to serve it — it is most definitely fit to eat.


Erin Sulley is a self-confessed foodie who lives in Mount Pearl, NL. Email: [email protected] Instagram: @erinsulley

RECIPE:

Meat Sauce

2 796-millilitre cans of tomatoes

¼ cup olive oil

2 ounces pancetta, chopped

2 cups chopped onion

½ cup finely chopped carrots

½ cup chopped celery

2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic

¼ cup chopped Italian parsley

1 pound ground veal

1 pound ground pork

Salt and freshly ground pepper

½ cup white wine

2 cups beef stock

2 tablespoons tomato paste

 

Béchamel Sauce

½ cup butter

½ cup flour

6 cups milk

1 bay leaf

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Pinch nutmeg

LASAGNA

14 lasagna noodles (approximately)

1 recipe béchamel sauce

1 recipe meat sauce

2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

METHOD

Meat Sauce

Chop tomatoes and reserve. (Juices can be saved for another recipe.)

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add pancetta and sauté for 1 minute.

Add onions, carrots and celery and cook gently for 10 minutes or until vegetables are very soft and begin to brown. Stir in garlic and parsley and cook for 3 minutes more.

Increase heat to medium. Add veal and pork, stirring to break up clumps of ground meat. Sauté until meat loses its pinkness, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add wine and boil until wine is mostly evaporated and mixture is saucy, about 4 minutes. Stir in stock, tomato paste and reserved tomatoes.

Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 1½ hours, then remove the lid and turn heat up to medium-low. Sauce should be thick and very tasty.

Simmer gently for a few minutes if it is too thin. Reseason if needed. Makes about 9 cups of sauce.
Béchamel Sauce

Heat butter over medium heat in a heavy pot. When butter has melted whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute or until flour is cooked, being careful not to brown the flour.

Remove from heat and slowly whisk in milk.

Add bay leaf, return to heat and bring to boil, stirring. Season well with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Makes about 6 cups.
Lasagna

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

Slip in noodles and bring back to boil. Boil according to package directions, usually about 10 minutes. Drain noodles and, using tongs, place them in a single layer on a tea towel or parchment paper.

Butter or oil a 9-by-13-inch ovenproof gratin dish.

Spread a thin layer of béchamel sauce on the base.

Divide remaining béchamel sauce and meat sauce into 3 portions.

Cover the layer of béchamel with noodles. Top noodles with one third of béchamel sauce and one third of meat sauce. Sprinkle with ½ cup Parmesan cheese.

Repeat layering twice, finishing with meat sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and dot with butter.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake pasta in upper third of oven for 45 minutes or until a crust forms on top and the filling is bubbling. Cover loosely with foil for the last 10 minutes if lasagna is getting too dark.

Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/recipes/a-lasagna-to-love/article646782/

 

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