Marco's Bolognese sauce
Ingredients: olive oil - 1 onion - 1 carrot- 1 stick of celery -2 cloves of garlic - sprig of thyme - 1 bay leaf - 500g lean minced beef (or half beef/ half pork) - 1 tbsp tomato puree - 175ml red wine - 200ml of boiling water - 1 knorr beef stock pot - 1 or 2 ladles pomodoro sauce
Method: For a smooth sauce which would be used for lasagne chop the carrot, celery and onion as finely as possible (doesn't matter so much about the onion). By chopping finely it allows all the flavours to be released into the Bolognese (Marco's mum would mince all the veg together with the meat), for Bolognese I dice the veg.
Cook the veg down in the olive oil over a low heat, this allows the sweetness in the carrot to come out. Add the garlic (method already mentioned). Next add the meat and cook with veg to render the fat out of it. Turn up the heat and seal off the mince - by doing this you evaporate off all the water, which intensifies the flavour. Work the meat with a fork, there should be no lumps you want a smooth sauce.
Add the tomato puree and cook for a minute so it's not bitter then add the red wine and evaporate off. By evaporating the water at each stage - sweating the veg, adding the wine, stock - you intensify flavour and ensure the sauce is not too wet for the lasagne. For Bolognese the sauce wouldn't need to be reduced as much. Add the beef stock pot to the boiling water and dissolve, pour into the pot and evaporate again. When it's reduced down add your pomodoro sauce and the herbs, simmer slowlyfor at least 90 mins on a low heat with the lid on.
This bit isn't part of the recipe but I take the lid off now and continue cooking if it looks a bit too wet just to dry it up a bit
Discard the herbs your sauce is now finished!
If left overnight the flavours will mature and be even better. Now layer up your lasagne, be generous! Marco suggests adding pomodoro sauce to your top layer underneath your béchamel and parmesan for a richer taste. Once you've made your lasagne pop in the oven for 25 mins at 180c, bon appetito!
A few more tips - lightly oiling the dish will stop the bottom pasta layer from sticking during cooking
also put clingfilm over your béchamel while it stands to stop a skin from forming
There you go - a taste sensation!