I ran in the London Marathon on the weekend. I had never run a marathon before and I was quite nervous as to whether I could actually make the distance. So it was with a combination of relief and pride that I actually crossed the finish line of the marathon. While there are lots of bad things about running a marathon like all the training that you have to do through winter and the fact that even now two days after the event I still have trouble bending my legs to walk up stairs there are certain advantages as well. For instance, in the week leading up to the marathon you are told, in fact you are recommended, to eat as much pasta as you can to stock up on energy for the marathon. Eating copious amounts of pasta is something I need no encouragement for and so I decided to whip up a big batch of lasagna. I know that everyone has their own lasagna recipe but this is mine and it is a great basic recipe. The best thing about lasagna (and this recipe in particular) is that it is delicious the first night you make it but even better the second and third night and even quite fabulous cold from the fridge.
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1 onion diced
500g lean mince meat
1 packet of lasagna sheets
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup red wine
2 cans of tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp oregano
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Splash of olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
4 tb plain flour
4 cups milk
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. To make the bolognese sauce lightly brown the garlic in a frying pan with a splash of olive oil and then add the onion and cook over low heat until softened and brown.
3. Add the mince and cook over low heat until browned.
4. Add the red wine and then mix in the tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, oregano and salt and pepper to season.
5. Cook over a low heat for as long as possible (ideally 2 hours). If you are in a hurry turn the heat up and cook until the bolognese sauce has boiled down.
6. Lightly grease an oven proof dish and then add 1/4 of the bolognese sauce, top with a layer of lasagna sheets and then repeat until all the mixture is used.
7. To make the white sauce place the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it melts. Then whisk in the flour and then milk stirring until the sauce is thick and smooth.
8. Spread the white sauce over the top layer of lasagna sheets and then top with the grated cheese.
9. Bake for 35 – 40 mins or until golden brown and cooked.
Serves 4. Or one very hungry person training for a marathon over multiple nights.