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ABEILLE | Cellular Blankets | The Perfect Layer



Pasticcio: Getting bored of eating the same old thing, this is a bit like a posh lamb Bolognese. I watched this recipe on Mel & Gino, it looked SO delicious I just had to make it. I have to say its now one of mine, hubby & Oliver's favourites. Great if you have friends coming over as it can be made in advance & then just popped in the oven before they arrive, I can't wait to have it again.Pasticcio

Timing: 1.5 hrs TIP: This recipe was not as 'quick-cook' as it alluded to be on the TV so don't, like me, start cooking at 5, thinking dinner will be promptly served, this is a recipe for a lazy Saturday afternoon no-rush dinner, or prepare the mince in advance & assemble quickly in the afternoon, but well worth the effort!

Serves 4

Ingredients 300g pasta spirals (cavatappi) or other pasta 100g parmesan

For the filling Olive oil 2 onions, finely diced 500g minced lamb 1 stick rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped 2 cloves of garlic, grated or finely chopped 2 bay leaves ½ tsp dried oregano ½ tsp dried chilli flakes 680 ml passata A small glass of red wine Salt and pepper

For the béchamel 100g salted butter 100g plain flour 1lt full fat milk (cold) ¼ freshly grated nutmeg Basil leaves to garnish Cheat: I used a jar of béchamel sauce as Oliver decided to stand on his chair as I was about to start making it & had to abort mission... Yummy


Preheat the oven to 180C.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the onions over a medium heat until soft. Add the mince to the pan and break it up thoroughly.

Once the meat is completely browned, add the rosemary, garlic, bay, dried oregano, chilli flakes and wine then continue to cook to reduce the liquid by half. Add the passata to the pan along with salt and pepper to taste, and mix well. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pan. Simmer for about 30 minutes. When ready, remove the bay leaves and set aside to cool a little.

To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute until it becomes a light brown colour. Gradually whisk in the cold milk, reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes whisking constantly. Set aside to slightly cool.

Boil the pasta as per packet instructions. Oil the sides and bottom of your baking dish, and then add about two-thirds of the pasta to the dish to form a bottom layer. Spread the meat sauce over the top of the bottom pasta layer. Add the remaining pasta over the top of the meat layer, distributing it evenly.

Pour the béchamel sauce over of the final pasta layer, make sure to cover the entire surface area of the dish and finish with the parmesan.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the béchamel sauce is golden brown. Finish with the fresh basil leaves. Delicious Confession: I didn't get many pictures making it as Oliver was launching his play pasta around the kitchen, the dog was trying to eat it & I was trying to not have a nervous breakdown whilst cooking dinner. Enjoy.. Michelle X