My maid of honor came to visit us yesterday, to help me do some preparations for our wedding next Saturday. What a lazy saturday it was, even though we had a lot to do. This Tuesday we're getting the key to the barn where we're having our wedding. And since I've been storing up all of these decorations the past year, I had so much to sort out.
And while we're talking about laziness. Look at these two social beings with their smart phones.
Sahra had ordered my lasagna before she came here. And since I love cooking for my guests, I gladly made some for her.
It was one of those rainy days where the sky just opened up and the rain was pouring down for hours and hours. All we had was the sound of the rain and some smooth jazz on the radio. Having this kind of slow afternoons are one of the things that usually makes me feel SO relaxed. But yesterday I was all stressed out because we have so many things that need to be in order for the up coming event. Luckily I had good help from my best friend.
The lasagna went in the oven..
.. my husband to be was smiling before he went out for a few beers with his friends..
.. and my maid of honour was enjoying a slow afternoon whilst the food she wanted was prepared for her..
Having chaos in the kitchen is ALWAYS ok by me, as long as it's because I get to feed people I love.
And when the evening came, we feasted. This recipe is so easy and delicious to make. I made with inspiration from this video from Laura in the Kitchen video I watched many years ago. And it never fails! I never follow a recipe to the point. I just follow my heart. Food should always be made with passion and not by rules.
Bolognese sauce (ragu):
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled, coarsely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 400 gr ground beef chuck
- 400 gr ground pork
- 200 gr bacon or panchetta, finely chopped
- Dry white wine (just enough to cover the vegetables and the bacon)
- 1-2 cans of crushed tomatoes and tomato puré
- Fresh basil
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2-3 tablespoons of wheat flour
- Whole milk (just enough to give the sauce the consistency that you want)
- Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- Kosher salt
- Parmesan cheese
- Lasagna noodles
- Shredded cheese (optional)
Finly chop the vegetables and heat up the a large heavy pot with olive oil before adding the vegetables, and then the bacon. You can add some garlic if you'd like, but you don't have to.
Then add the meat, let it simmer with the other ingredients. Add the wine and let it reduce before you add tomatoes and tomato puré. When using tomato puré, you'll get the best out of the flavours if you let it heat up in a pan beforehand. But in this case you really don't need to do that, because the flavours will mix so well together anyways. At least that's my experience. But I highly recommend adding some sugar with the basil so bring out all of the flavours in the sauce.
Let it simmer for 4-5 hours. It only get better and better by the hour.
Let the noodles lie in water for a few hours before you assemble the lasagna.
Then to the Bechamel sauce:
Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in warm milk, little by little. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, whisking often, until the consistency of cream, 8–10 minutes; add nutmeg and season with salt. Remove from heat. Chill if not using right away. I usually use it right away, and therefore I always make the béchamel right before I assemble the lasagna.
Preheat the oven to 220 degree celcius.
Make layers in a ovenproof dish. First béchamel, then the ragu, then the noodles, then ricotta, before doing it all over again till' you get to the top layer; finish the lasagna with béchamel, ragu, ricotta and then shredded cheese or/and mozzarella. Put it in the oven and let it bake for 50-60 minutes. When you take it out, always let it rest for 30 minutes before eating it.
After we ate, we go to work. I worked with the table settings, and Sahra worked with the props to our photo booth. After all, what's a wedding without a photo booth in 2017? Isn't it mandatory by now?
After midnight we discovered that the props was glued all wrong, so we had to start all over again. Sahra was pretty frustrated and I laughed!
But we listened to the wedding playlist and got in the groove, so we had a really fun evening after all. I'm really glad that I got some help, and I really think I'm probably gonna forget all about the stress when this is over, and only miss the anticipations. But we sure have some work ahead of us this upcoming week! Weddings are really a lot of work!