The centuries-old lasagne alla bolognese are a timeless classic that hardly need an introduction. It’s one of those dishes you, or at least I, just cannot get tired of. Graziella, who I speak of in my about page, is an absolute hero at making this. I can demolish portions and portions of Gra’s cooking on a bad day, but when lasagne are in question, I only deal in full trays!
Oh, I should also mention before my prescriptivist readers pick me up on bad grammar, that lasagne is a plural word in Italian, and is preferred over the singular lasagna when talking about this dish
Like most pasta dishes, the concept of lasagne can be adapted to suit different tastes, whilst still achieving something just as more-ish as the original. This unruly recipe is a good example.
Based on my family favourite penne al salmone recipe, the filling between these freshly rolled pasta sheets gives the original ragú and besciamella combo, a run for their money.
As I’ve just mentioned, the pasta in this recipe is made fresh, but of course you can short-circuit the time and use shop bought pasta sheets. Also, if you’re having trouble finding smoked salmon fillets, you could also use a mixture of smoked salmon slices and normal fillets.
Serves 2; prep time 40 mins; cook time 20 mins.
For the pasta:
200g ’00’ flour
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1.5 tbsp white wine
1.5 tbsp olive oil
pinch of fine salt
(Alternatively 200g of shop bought pasta sheets, dried or fresh)
For the filling:
500g smoked salmon fillets
bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
juice of half a lemon
And the béchamel:
300ml semi skimmed milk
15g plain flour
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
If you’re making your own pasta start here – if you don’t have time or can’t quite be bothered, then scroll down to the lazy looking emojis!
Start by making the pasta. In a mixing bowl add the flour and salt, making a well in the middle. Add the eggs, olive oil and white wine combining everything with a fork. Tip onto a floured surface and kneed for 10 mins. Alternatively use a mixer with a dough hook.
Once you have a shiny and uniform ball of dough, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 mins.
Take the dough out the fridge and divide into 4 equal pieces.
Now to make the lasagna sheets. Using a pasta machine, pass each piece through, starting on the widest setting, getting narrower with each pass until you reach the narrowest. The pasta sheets should fill the entire width of the machine – if you’re not happy with the result, just fold the sheets in half lengthways, and pass them through again.
You’ll notice that the sheets are pretty long! Using a knife or pizza wheel, divide up the sheets so as they are a good size for the dish you plan to use. This recipe is for 2 people, and for that I like using a non-stick loaf tin.
😴😴😴 Start here for shop bought pasta sheets.
Chop up the salmon fillets into 3-4cm chunks and tip them into a bowl. Add the lemon juice and coriander. Season and give it a good toss. Cover with cling film and set aside.
Chop the asparagus into 4-5cm pieces and set aside.
For the béchamel add the milk, sieved flour and butter to a pan and place on a medium heat. Whisk gently and continuously until the sauce thickens and smoothens out. Chop the gorgonzola into small 2cm cubes, add to the sauce and stir over a low heat. Add the tomato ketchup and season, giving it all a good final stir before taking off the heat.
Pre-heat oven to 180C.
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and individually dunk the pasta sheets in the water for 10-15 seconds. If you’re using dried shop bough pasta, then cook for an extra 10 seconds. Lay the sheets on a clean and dry dish towel.
Oil the baking tin and line the bottom with a couple of pasta sheets. Spoon in some béchamel sauce to lightly cover the pasta. Arrange a few asparagus pieces, lightly season and cover with another pasta sheet. Do the same again but this time with smoked salmon. Alternate the layers until you run out of pasta (or reach the top of the tin!). Finish off the top layer with the remaining béchamel, salmon and asparagus, topping off with a little gorgonzola and coriander.
Place the tin in the oven. Bake for 20 mins and if you’d like a crispier top, finish with 2 mins under the grill.
Slice and plate up, showing off the layers in all their glory! Buon appetito
Thanks for reading,
Have you tried any unconventional lasagne recipes? Let me know what you think in the comments below!