This was delicious. The crepes are far lighter than lasagne sheets. The bolognese was lovely (but in all honesty you could use your own bolognese recipe, just make sure it thickens properly as the crepes unlike pasta sheets don't need to be cooked, so you need it thick, not liquidy). The bechamel is well, bechamel, most of them taste the same.
This is a very cheesy lasagne, you can reduce the amount of cheese, if you like.
This is a great recipe when you can't buy lasagne sheets.
Now I already have a favourite bolognese and a favourite lasagne, and I could have just made that lasagne, just using crepes and I could have made this using my favourite bolognese recipe, also slow cooked. But when I try new things I like to try new recipes as I just don't like food when everything tastes the same.
Crepes: For me the first crepe is your tester, it rarely turns out great, as the pan is usually not hot enough. It is where you see if your mixture is too thick, if yes, add more milk, if it is too thin, add more flour, if your pan wasn't hot enough it will now heat up. The batter is only supposed to cover the base of the pan, so if you had too much mix with 3/4 of a ladle full, use less, or more if it wasn't enough-you can't have holes in your crepes.
You can add more or less fresh basil, as it is to taste.
You do need to wait 30 minutes to an hour before slicing a lasagne as you won't be able to slice it properly if you don't, but if you're okay with a sloppy, boiling hot mess, eat it straight away.
So here you have another way to make lasgane, hope you enjoy it.
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
250g pork mince
250g veal mince
400g tin diced tomatoes
2 x 680g bottles Italian tomato passata
8-10 fresh Basil leaves, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon vegeta, optional
Crepes: Makes 20 crepes
320g plain flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 litre milk
Canola cooking spray
100g plain flour
1 litre milk
salt and pepper, to taste
200g romano cheese
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Bolognese: In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil, onion and garlic, saute for 2 minutes. Add the carrot and celery, saute for 3-4 minutes.
Increase the heat to high and add the pork and beef mince, you need to brown the mince and break up all the lumps using a wooden spoon. Once the meat is browned and lump free, reduce the heat to medium and add the tinned tomatoes, the tomato passata and basil. Season with salt and pepper and add vegeta if using. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and let it cook for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. You can add more water if it is reducing too much.
Crepes: Make the pancakes: Place the eggs in a mixing bowl, add the flour. Add half of the milk; using a whisk, whisk until your mixture is lump free. Keep adding milk slowly until all the lumps have disappeared, then add remainder of milk, mix through. It is easier to get the lumps out, if the mixture is thick, so don't add all the milk in straight away. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. Strain the mix through a sieve to make them completely lump free-I however never do, more cleaning up, and a few tiny lumps don't make a difference, well, not for me at least.
Once you have made crepes a few times, you won't even use a recipe, it is something that is done by feel- the consistency determines how much of what ingredient is needed.
Heat a 20cm non stick crepe pan (or frying pan) over medium-high heat. Spray the pan lightly with cooking spray. Using a ladle, pour 1/2-3/4 of a ladle full into the top edge of the pan, quickly tilt your pan around so the batter covers the entire pan. Keep swirling it around until the mixture stops running. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. The sides of the crepe will start to colour and will lift away from the side of the pan so you can slide a long plastic icing spatula under the centre of crepe, that will help you flip the crepe. The crepe should be lightly coloured. Cook for a further 30 seconds, until lightly coloured. Repeat with oil spray and remaining batter.
Bechamel Sauce: Melt the butter in a large heavy based saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted and starts to foam, add the flour, whisk continuously for 1-2 minutes, to cook the flour.
Add the milk a cup at a time, whisk it in to get rid of lumps, once it thickens add the next cup, until all the milk has been whisked in and the mixture is smooth. Cook, whisking continuously until the mixture just comes to the boil and thickens.
To assemble: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan forced.
Cover the bottom of a deep, large casserole dish with bolognese sauce. Top with your first layer of crepes. Add two ladles of bolognese or enough to cover the crepes, and add a sprinkling of both the mozzarella and romano cheeses. Add another layer of crepes, top with bolognese and both cheeses, on this layer you now add a ladle of the bechamel. Continue this process of layering and remember to add the bechamel on every second layer of crepes. You need to finish on a layer of bechamel and have enough bechamel to completely cover the top layer. If you have any cheese leftover, you can sprinkle it over the top. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of the bechamel.
Place a sheet of baking paper over your lasagne, then cover tightly with aluminium foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and cook for another 30 minutes or until the top has nicely browned. Let it stand for 30-60 minutes before serving.
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