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 shouldn’t contain tomatoes.

Ingredients

Method

  1. Lightly fry the onions and garlic, until the onion has softened.
  2. Add the mince to the onion, and dry fry until the mince has browned.
  3. Add the celery, stock, wine and seasonings to the mince.
  4. Add 2 tbsp flour to the mince, and stir until the sauce has thickened. Add the herbs and allow to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan, and add the remaining flour, stirring to a paste.
  6. Add the milk slowly with continual stirring over a low heat, and gently bring to the boil. The sauce should be thick and smooth.
  7. Add 2 thirds of the cheese to the sauce, and stir until the cheese has melted. Remove from the heat.
  8. Pour half the meat sauce into the base of the lasagna dish and cover with a layer of bread.
  9. Pour half the cheese sauce over the bread layer, and place a second layer of bread over the top.
  10. Pour the remaining meat sauce over the bread layer, and then pour the remaining cheese sauce over the top.
  11. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the lasagna.
  12. Place the lasagna into an oven at 180 degrees C and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the cheesy top browns.
  13. Serve immediately.