Posted by: Joan Spiller | May 13, 2011

Lasagne – Recipe

This simple but tasty recipe can be modified to be 100% vegetarian or meat-a-tarian very simply, as you will see .. in my experience, most meat eaters are quite happy to try vegetable lasagne tho so why not give it a go?

All you will need is:

Fresh pasta sheets (whichever is cheapest in the chiller at the shop!) I like to do 5 layers – you can do 3 – 4 if you prefer
2-3c cheese sauce <- click here for the recipe (a new page will open)
2-3c pasta sauce (I make my own but you could use a jar of good quality shop bought stuff if you wanted to)
1 large onion, sliced into lengths
1 red capsicum – sliced into lengths
1t of each of garlic, ginger and chilli (Fresh is best)
1T rice bran (or any) oil – my fave is rice bran
Salt and Pepper to taste

As well, you might like to add:

Pumpkin sliced thinly and fried in oil, before being seasoned with nutmeg, salt and black pepper (qty – enough to do one layer, this depends on the size of your dish)
1/2c corn kernels (frozen corn rules, I always have a bag in the freezer!)
*Baby spinach leaves (a bagful from the shops) or some cooked, shredded silverbeet if you have it in the garden. Cook it first, season with salt and pepper and set it to one side.

500g beef mince – omit for vege friendly lasagne (instructions on how to cook this are below)

*Bear in mind, the veges can be left out, or you can use other veges. Kumara is gorgeous done the same way as the pumpkin or if you want it extra filling – use potatoes instead (or as well!) of the punkin. I like the touch of colour that the other veges bring to it so tend to save potato for other dishes! Value for money tho’: spuds rule – so if I was feeding a bunch of hungry teen boys, I’d probably throw spuds in.

Saute the onion, capsicums and garlic, chilli & ginger in a little oil. You want glassy looking onions, no colour!

Add your 2-3c of pasta sauce and simmer for 10 mins. The ingredients above just give it a bit of va-voom in case you are using ready-made sauce! And wont hurt if you are using home made, so why not add the extra flavour! When I make my sauce I use red wine, so don’t need to add it to this recipe.

Make (or reheat) the cheese sauce.

Cook the beef mince (if applicable)

Once this is all done, it’s time to assemble the dish for cooking!

Grease a large pan, slosh in a thin layer of the cheese sauce. Lay one sheet of pasta on the cheese sauce. Top with an equal amt of pasta sauce and continue layering ’til your dish is full or you run outta ingredients .. I put the pumpkin or kumara, the corn (spuds, whatever) and the silverbeet somewhere in the middle of all that!

To cook the mince for this: Heat a cast iron pan, cook the beef in small batches (so it browns, not boils) – salt and pepper each batch as it cooks. Usually when we buy mince it is in a solid horrible lump – break it up with your wooden spoon as you cook it, so it’s in nice little ‘bits’. Once it’s all cooked, add to the pasta sauce (so you have a meaty / tomatoey sauce instead of the vege dish which is just tomato based!)

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 190 degs for 35 mins then turn the heat down to 170 for a further 20 mins. 

 From my experience, this is best made the day before you want to serve it – then just re-heat it. Somehow the flavours go mad in the ‘waiting’ time 😉

A hint about the pan to use: I use a roasting pan!

 This lasagne freezes well and makes for great lunches so why not make a big batch! I slice it into single serve portions and freeze it ready to go .. Serve with a side of salad and lashings of red wine. Or is that lashings of salad and a side of wine?

Bon Appetit!


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