Before I start I have to admit that I am not a food historian and this recipe hasn't been passed down on a vellum scroll through the ages! All the ingredients, however, were available in ancient Rome, and it is well known that the Romans made a lasagna-like dish using bread rather than pasta. I have just taken this forward along one possible route. I expected lasagna without tomatoes to be bland and uninspiring, however, it turns out to be delicious and very moreish. For a more authentic taste use Italian bread and cheese and organic ingredients; in Roman times all ingredients would have been organic! The quantities shown here serve 4, I would advise you serve with a salad, which, again, if you want to be authentic shouldnât contain tomatoes.
- 500g Minced beef
- 2 Onions, chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
- 3 sticks Celery, sliced
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 300ml Beef stock
- 3 tbsp Red wine
- 3 tbsp Fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tbsp Fresh parsley, chopped
- 8 slices Bread (or enough to give 2 layers of bread in your lasagna dish)
- 600 ml Milk
- 6 tbsp Flour
- 15g Butter
- 350g Mature cheese, grated
- Lightly fry the onions and garlic, until the onion has softened.
- Add the mince to the onion, and dry fry until the mince has browned.
- Add the celery, stock, wine and seasonings to the mince.
- Add 2 tbsp flour to the mince, and stir until the sauce has thickened. Add the herbs and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan, and add the remaining flour, stirring to a paste.
- Add the milk slowly with continual stirring over a low heat, and gently bring to the boil. The sauce should be thick and smooth.
- Add 2 thirds of the cheese to the sauce, and stir until the cheese has melted. Remove from the heat.
- Pour half the meat sauce into the base of the lasagna dish and cover with a layer of bread.
- Pour half the cheese sauce over the bread layer, and place a second layer of bread over the top.
- Pour the remaining meat sauce over the bread layer, and then pour the remaining cheese sauce over the top.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the lasagna.
- Place the lasagna into an oven at 180 degrees C and bake for 15 â 20 minutes, or until the cheesy top browns.
- Serve immediately.