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Primal Lasagne

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  • Primal Lasagne

    If there's an envelope to push, you know I'm going to push it ... Lasagne, anyone?

    It may surprise you to know that Lasagne is actually British! No, really ...

    Mentioned as Loseyne in 'The Forme of Cury', a 14th Century English cook book, where the recipe is recorded as:

    "Take gode broth and do in an erthen pot, take flour of payndemayn and make therof past with water. and make therof thynne foyles as paper with a roller, drye it harde and seeth it in broth take Chese ruayn grated and lay it in disshes with powdour douce. and lay theron loseyns isode as hoole as thou mizt and above powdour and chese, and so twyse or thryse, & serue it forth."
    Easy ... so sheets (thynne foyles), cheese (chese) and something between them ...

    Primal Lasagne!

    Okay, so what the heck is primal about Lasagne, eh? Well, nothing, especially not since primal is most certainly not about emulating neolithic foods with alternative ingredients - that's just gluten-free.

    Whenever I see recipes that emulate neolithic meals that are presented by simple placing the word "Paleo" or "Primal" up front, it gives me a smile - a smile is not a bad thing; a sneer is.

    I smile. I smile because they do it, I do it, we all do it. To some extent, all so-called Primal cooking is quite neolithic in itself. Substituting ingredients that are negative to our health with ingredients which are not is eminently primal ... and a good thing to do.

    Here's how not to do just that ...

    Jump to 41:46 for the substitution sketch

    I hope you had a laugh ... L&H are quite probably the absolute genesis of film comedy. Whatever they do is funny ... everything after is a copy of these guys' comedy genius. Stanley is a northern Brit, don't you know.

    Back to it ...

    I also smile because this kind of food is quite often comfort food - it should make us smile. Tonight, cold, snowing and next to a warming fire, a plate of comforting Lasagne with a glass of nice Chilean Merlot is just the ticket.

    We should take time to smile. I have read, although I am hazy about the reality of it, that when we smile, our brains release happiness into our system. It's a nice thought.

    Let's get to it ...

    The filling is a simple ragu of minced beef, onion, garlic, celery, carrot and mushroom in a chopped tomato, purée and beef stock sauce. Slow-cooked for three hours, reduced, perfect!

    The cheese sauce is cheddar - medium and mature, mixed, in a mixture of half cow cream and half goat milk. Reduce until thickened.

    The "pasta" is a manioc pancake - a cup of manioc flour (Brazilian sour starch, as I buy it), half a cup of finely grated pecorino, a sheep cheese, four eggs and an inch off a stick of goat butter, melted. This made me three large (12") pancakes, nice and thick, too, so three layers in the lasagne.

    Primal Soairse showed us how to make these here and here is my take on them.

    You can make these up while the cheese sauce is reducing and thickening. Don't be tempted to use arrowroot in a dairy sauce - it will look disgusting!

    Ready to put it together?

    In a 12" square dish, some cheese sauce, some ragu, a pancake and then repeat two more times. More cheese sauce over the top and some fresh herbs. Pop it in the oven for about 15 minutes until crispy and brown on top, then serve out.

    Of course, if you have a different shaped dish, perhaps oval, make smaller pancakes and put two side by side to fill the shape.

    Better than pasta-based Lasagne? Not 'arf!

    "... needs more fish!"

  • #2
    I watched Anne Burrell make lasagna with butternut squash on the food network..... I thought that it was an interesting concept..... She used the typical lasagna ingredients and used the squash as the "pasta"....


    • #3
      That looks so beautiful, and may be what I make for xmas this year. I blew off Christmas lasagna last year because I was still new enough that I didn't want to start making copies of foods I wanted to avoid. But that is stellar.

      I would have to substitute mozzarella for the cheddar. I fear that if I didn't, my ancestors would walk out of their graves to haunt me.

      It may surprise you to know that Lasagne is actually British!
      Them's fightin' words.
      "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


      Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.


      • #4
        This looks incredible!

        Check out my blog to see how a family of four eats real, whole foods on $85/week


        • #5
          Thanks, folks. As always, adopt, adapt and improve, accordingly.

          "... needs more fish!"


          • #6
            Made a version of this on Saturday - it was delicious! Thank you so much, Paul, for giving the idea


            • #7
              Beauty! Glad you liked it. For me, the trick is nice, thick sheets ... and a good ragu, of course.

              "... needs more fish!"


              • #8
                Yup - I made the sheets slightly too thin, so will make them thicker next time - but repeats of this have been requested!!


                • #9
                  Looks complicated, but if you made it for me, I wouldn't pass it up! :P