From Ruvimbo Chidora

Ingredients

  • 20 x 5 inch lasagne sheets
  • 6oz steamed pumpkin leaves (muboora)
  • ½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 8oz mixed cheeses (parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella)
  • Bolognaise (Ragu) sauce
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, scraped and finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 cup stock
  • 1 (16-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand, with the juices
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bechamel Sauce
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Method

  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic and sweat over medium heat until vegetables are translucent.
  3. Add meat to the vegetables, brown over high heat, stirring to keep meat from sticking together for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Add the stock and simmer until almost dry, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and simmer 15 minutes.
  6. Lower the heat, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until flavors are developed.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.

  1. For the sauce
    In a medium saucepan, heat butter until melted.
  2. Add flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until light golden brown, about 6 to 7 minutes.

    Meanwhile, heat milk in separate pan until just about to boil.

  3. Add milk to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth and bring to a boil.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes and remove from heat.
  5. Season with salt and nutmeg and set aside.

Assembling the Lasagna

  1. In a casserole dish or brownie pan, assemble the lasagne.
  2. Starting with a layer of ragu, a sprinkling of grated cheeses, a layer of pasta, a layer of bechamel, a layer of muboora and then again a layer of ragu, a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano etc. until all sauce and pasta and muboora are used up.
  3. The top layer should be pasta with bechamel over it.
  4. Top the lasagne with grated cheese and bake in the oven until the edges are browned and the sauces are bubbling, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
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Anna Brazier

Anna Brazier is the editor of Naturally Zimbabwean. She was born in Zambia but has lived most of her life in Zimbabwe. She has a BSc in Ecology and an MSc in Sustainable Development and works as a consultant promoting sustainable agriculture, nutrition, traditional foods and community resilience in Africa and beyond. She lives in Harare with her husband and three children.