I know, I know – lasagne is Italian, and here I am using French in my title. Also, those of us in North America technically call it “lasagna” with an “a”, whereas Mr. Oliver and the rest of the world apparently write “lasagne” with an “e”. No matter – as with roses, a lasagne/lasagna by any other name would taste as delicious.
Actually, that last statement makes it seems as though all lasagnes are created equal, though they most definitely are not. In my personal opinion, this is the tastiest homemade lasagne I have ever eaten – nay, devoured!
Once again, I take very little credit for the deliciousness of that which I’ve created. Aside from a small variation or three, I stuck very closely to the culinary genius of Oliver. Usually the only credit I can truly take is in selecting the right recipe. I’m a picky eater, so I am very selective about the recipes I attempt to make. This time, not even that credit can be bestowed upon me. With something like lasagne, a dish having so many variations, I would have probably searched high and low were it not for Mateja, my wife. She told me what to make (lasagne), and whom from (Oliver).
I will at least say that I approved of her selection. Had the recipe called for heavy amounts of ricotta or cottage cheese, I probably would have objected. This recipe calls for a crème fraîche/parmesan white sauce. This rich mixture is the true star, and instantly launches this Oliver’s version above and beyond all other home-cooked lasagnes I’ve ever tried.
When it comes to the recipe, you can find it in “Jamie’s Food Revolution” (JFR). If you know me and you’re local, I’ll lend it to you. If you know me and you live afar, message me and I’ll send the details. Even if you don’t know me – e-mail can be arranged. Otherwise, you can Google it, or, you know…buy the book! Honestly, it’s well-worth the price, and I believe intellectual property is important and should be respected (sometimes, at least).
At the same time, Jamie Oliver recommends passing on the recipes in JFR, so – forget what I just said – here’s a link to another blogger’s attempt at this dish which, most importantly, includes the recipe.
I used extra lean ground beef instead of either pork or a pork/beef mixture. As for personal variations: I added 50% more bacon and garlic; used 20% less crème fraîche (due to cost and the particular volumes sold), and forgot to drizzle with olive oil at the end. Aside from that, I stayed true to the recipe.
Anyways, I best finish this post now. Mateja chose this recipe as my gift to her for our sixth month anniversary – or whatever you call the day when you’ve been married for half a year, if there is a name – and I spent the evening baking a lasagne and then blogging about it. In all fairness though, most of the candlelit dinner conversation was about how amazing this dish was, and she insisted I make a blog post about it immediately.
Seriously – you have to make this. It may take you over three hours (if you’re like me), but it’s well worth the effort.