This recipe is based on Jamie Oliver’s lasagne alla cacciatora (hunters’ lasagne) from his Italy book. He uses five different meats whereas I simply use good quality minced meat. Jamie also makes fresh lasagna plates. I use the Barilla lasagna plates that you can buy from the supermarket. This makes the dish a bit quicker and easier to prepare. It is a great dish with pure and simple ingredients and the best of all is that the children love it, too.
600 g good quality minced meat
Parmesan cheese for grating
2 x 150 g balls of mozzarella, torn up
A handful of fresh sage leaves
For the meat sauce:
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
A sprig of fresh rosemary
3 bay leaves
3 x 400 g of tinned tomatoes
For the white sauce:
1 liter of milk
A sprig of fresh leaf parsley
A pinch of nutmeg
½ an onion, peeled and sliced
6 black peppercorns
80 g butter
65 g plain flour
150 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat your oven to 220°C. Heat a pan and add olive oil. Slowly fry garlic until lightly colored, then add the rosemary, bay leaves and tomatoes, then add the meat loaf and use a wooden spoon to cut it in to small pieces. I use this Norwegian kitchen tool “Hackit” to cut the minced meat into small pieces, almost a pulp. Cook gently for 45 minutes without a lid on to reduce a bit of the moisture from the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, and remove the bay leaves and the sprig of rosmary.
When the meat sauce is nearly done, put the milk, parsley, nutmeg, onion and black peppercorns into another pan and bring gently to a boil. Then strain the milk into a container and melt butter in the saucepan and add the flour. Add the milk mixture while stirring to prevent lumps from forming. Now you should have a thick white smooth sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil and let it gently cook for a few minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and add the Parmesan cheese and season well with salt and pepper. Add 3-4 lasagne plates to cover the bottom of a large ovenproof dish, add some meat sauce, enough to cover the lasagna plates, then add some white sauce to cover the meat sauce. Add 3-4 lasagna plates and repeat the layers until you have run out of meat sauce. Keep back enough white sauce to form the top layer. Sprinkle Parmesan, tear mozzarella and scatter over the dish. Finish of with sage leaves. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the top has a golden color.
I serve the dish with focaccia and a fresh salad.