I was fairly intrigued when I first read about Heston Blumenthal’s no-roux white sauce. Instead of starting with the traditional butter and flour lump and then gradually adding milk, and cheese being optional, he advises reducing white wine (significantly), adding chicken stock, then melting in cheese, coated in a couple of teaspoons of cornflour (the only flour).
It seemed just as easy as normal white sauce, with a boatload more flavour. But judge for yourself.
- 300 ml white wine
- 150 ml chicken stock (warmed through)
- 200 g mature cheese (I used cheddar)
- Cornflour, to dust (2 tsp approx)
- 300 g lean beef mince
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 150 g spinach
- 12 sheets lasagna
- In a small pan, reduce the wine to a concentrated 30ml.
- Meanwhile, fry the beef for five minutes (you shouldn't need any additional oil), then add the chopped onion, and fry for another three minutes.
- Add the tomatoes to the beef, and reduce slightly, then add the spinach and wilt for a minute or two and remove from the heat.
- Stir the heated stock into the reduced wine, then dust the cheese (reserving a handful to sprinkle on top) with the cornflour, mixing to coat, then stir into the stock until nice and thick.
- Layer in a large dish - beef and tomato sauce, lasagna sheets, white sauce. I aim for as many layers as possible (it's all about the pasta!), so be sparing with the sauces, while ensuring there is enough wet for the pasta to absorb.
- Sprinkle on top the reserved cheese, and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. The pasta should be al-dente, and have taken on the flavours of the sauce.