Thursday, July 28, 2011


Not too heavy nor too rich, this is a lasagne for the 'come rain or shine' evenings of late. The fennel comes through subtle and sweet, the aniseed and juicy cherry tomatoes seasoning the lean veal and lifting the light ricotta as it cooks the pasta. It's still filling for us hungered gluts but fragrant enough to suit the season (however unpredictable).




2 tbsps olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, grated, stalks and stem removed
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
200g veal mince
1/2 glass sherry

200g cherry tomatoes
2tsp tomato puree
2 cloves garlic, peeled

250g ricotta cheese
6-8 large lasagne sheets
handful parmesan

sea salt and black pepper

Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the chopped shallots, grated fennel and fennel seeds. Fry until soft.

Meanwhile, roast the cherry tomatoes with the garlic cloves for 10 minutes until swollen and soft. Transfer to a bowl and whizz with a hand-held food processor. Keep the oven at the same heat.

Add the veal mince to the fennel and break up with a wooden spoon. When the meat is brown, turn up the heat and add the sherry. Let the pan simmer until the alcohol burns off and you are left with just a little bit of liquid.

Sieve the whizzed cherry tomatoes and discard the leftover seeds. Add the cherry tomato jus and tomato puree to the pan and stir through. Taste and season.

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the lasagne sheets for 2 minutes so that they mould to the dish and cook well under the ricotta. Line the bottom of the dish with one sheet and spread over a layer of ricotta. Next, add a layer of mince and cover with another pasta sheet. Repeat the layering; the more sheets the better. Finish with a final layer of ricotta, a sprinkling of Parmesan and crushed black pepper.

Put the lasagne in the hot oven for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

Serve alongside lightly dressed fresh green leaves or, for real summer, a cucumber, orange and watercress salad.


  1. This sounds delicious - I love finding new lasagne recipes and a use for all the fennel I've grown this year!

  2. Where on earth did you get the sherry from?

  3. Never tried this recipe...but these lasagne look amazing!!!!! I'll defo try it!!!
    Your blog is amazing!!! well done...I'm one of your followers now!!!!

  4. Ahh, yum! This sounds absolutely lovely! I have never heard of it.. but the flavours sound fantasic together! x