Does anyone else panic when cooking for guests at a dinner party?
I tend to get really nervous and all my cooking skills go out the window!
So I like to prepare ahead. My heart warming lasagne is a delicious dish that can be whipped up the day before. So all I have to do is put it in the oven before the guests arrive and bobs your uncle, a tasty meal is ready to wow my guests!
Layers of tasty, herb spiked minced beef, creamy white sauce, and luxurious pasta all smothered with a cheesy topping to die for.
This bad boy is the star of the plate, so all the more reason to keep it simple with the accompaniments! A handful of fresh green leaves does the trick.
To make a meal of it I follow it up with my Sexy Chocolate Mousse that is also prepared the day before. This leaves you plenty of time to make yourself look gorgeous before your guests arrive!
Who wants to be sweating over a hot stove when your entertaining? Not me!
This recipe originated from Lorraine Pascale’s Home Cooking Made Easy cook book.
But I’ve tweaked it to make my own tasty version!
200g pancetta chunks
1 red onion, chopped
2 large sprigs roasemary, finely chopped
2tsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic
750g minced beef
1 bay leaf
1/4 pint beef stock
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
4 large squidges tomato puree
1tsp soft brown sugar
1 bunch fresh basil
precooked fresh lasagne sheets
serves 6-8 people
1. Fry the pancetta until golden brown, then add the onion, rosemary and oregano and a little oil and cook until the onions are soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
2. Add the minced beef and the bay leaf and cook until the mince is browned then add the stock, tinned toms, tom puree, sugar & stir together. Simmer for 15 minutes until the mixture has only a little liquid left.
3. Meanwhile make the white sauce. Put the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat until melted, then take the pan off the heat and stir in the flour. Start to add a little of the milk then mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Keep adding the milk bit by bit stirring well between each addition. Return the pan to the heat & bring to the boil, constantly stirring. After a minute or so the mixture will thicken slightly. Remove from the heat and leave to one side.
4. Once the meat is ready assembly can begin! Grease a 30cm x 20cm oven proof dish with butter, then layer as follows: meat, basil leaves, lasagne sheets, meat, basil leaves, white sauce, lasagne sheets, meat, basil, white sauce. Top with the grated parmesan.
5. At this point you could pop it in the fridge to cook later.
5. When ready to cook, put it in a preheated oven 180C for 45 minutes.
6. Cut into 6-8 squares and serve!
This dish gives you ample time to enjoy catching up with your guests over a glass of red wine whilst you wait for it to cook.
It doesn’t even matter if you have one too many before serving, as this dish practically serves itself!
This is effortless entertaining, just the way I like it!