Amarone or Chianti with your beef lasagne?

An all time classic I’ve been meaning to nail for a while now. Prepare your bolognese sauce beforehand. I think it actually gets better after being in the freezer for a while, so do a few batches sometime you feel like spaghetti bolognese. I have links set up below to my own version, and Curious Mike’s favourite version.

Some people, myself included, prefer more of the cheese sauce, so simply make a little more and add it down the layers as you please. It’ll mix in beautifully with the intense meaty-tomato sauce.

Beef Lasagne (serves 4)

25g butter
25g flour
450ml milk
pinch of ground nutmeg
half teasp. mustard
75g cheddar cheese
50ml beef stock
bolognese sauce (excellent recipes here & here)
100g lasagne sheets

Put the flour, butter and milk into a pan and heat, stirring until the sauce boils, thickens and becomes smooth. Remove from the heat and throw in the nutmeg, mustard and half of the cheese until melted. Season to taste. This can be a little tricky to master, but just keep stirring!

Add stock to the bolognese sauce and put half the mixture in an oven proof dish. Cover with half the lasagne sheets and repeat layers before pouring the cheese sauce over the top of the lasagne. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Bake at 180 degrees C for about 35 minutes. It should be piping hot, and the pasta cooked. Serve up with garlic bread and a simple side salad.

The wine match

Go red and go Italian. I love Chianti, Barbaresco or any Sangiovese based blend with this kind of food. The 1489 Chianti or Farnese Sangiovese are the two everyday wines I have in mind, and if you feel like splashing out, the Montefante Amarone would be a match made in heaven. Certainly one to impress with at those dinner parties. Just be sure to decant for at least six hours prior (or even the day before).

The flavour profile of these wines mean they cope very well with the flavours of the dish, but it’s the signature acidity and rustic, dusty red/black fruit of Sangiovese that help bring out the best of both food and wine.

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