Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lasagne time!

I don't make lasagne very often, because the way I make it uses my usual bolognaise sauce recipe cooked down for a couple of hours, so it's pretty time consuming, and this is accordingly going to be kind of a long post. But if you've got a Sunday at home with nothing to do, make this for dinner - it's pretty awesome, even if I do say so myself!! And even if you don't want to make lasagne, you can use the sauce recipe for spaghetti or penne or macaroni or whatever the hell you want! Here's what you'll need for the sauce (including the lasagne sheets):

Start by chopping the veggies roughly. I put them all through the food processor (it's the way Mum's always done it - an easy way to get a ton of veggies into fussy small children!), but if you don't have one/don't want to do that, just chop them smaller!

Stick the onion through the food processor:

Then brown it in a pan, and add the lean beef mince and a couple of spoonfuls of garlic:

Once all of that has cooked through, add some tomato paste:

And some ketchup (technically, you don't have to add ketchup. I just like it):

Then put the chopped carrot through the food processor and add it in:

Do the same with the zucchini:

And the capsicum:

Mix all the veggies through, then add in a tin of diced tomatoes:

Then add in a jar of ready-made spaghetti sauce - you know, the stuff that's just tomato and some herbs:

Add some water - I usually just put some water in the tin and the jar, swirl it around, and add it in, then add some salt and a ton of pepper:

Some Italian herbs:

And some cinnamon:

Then reduce the heat and let the whole thing simmer away on low for a couple of hours. You can see how much it's reduced. At this point, feel free to just cook some spaghetti or whatever, and cover it with sauce and cheese:

When you're ready to assemble the lasagne, whip up a batch of cheese sauce. Here's what you'll need:

Start by melting a chunk of butter (God, I'm so awesome with my measurements, aren't I!):

Once it's melted, add in some plain flour:

Mix it through, and add in some mustard powder:

Let it cook for a couple of minutes to allow the starch grains to burst, then add in some milk:

Eyeball the amount of milk so that it makes enough sauce to spread over the size of the baking dish you're planning on using. Stir it slowly until the milk is absorbed and the sauce is smooth.

Bring it to a boil and then add a handful of grated cheese (technically, you can leave the cheese out and just use white sauce. But I don't really like white sauce, so I add cheese into the mix!):

Mix it through until the cheese has melted. Once the sauce is done, you can start assembling the lasagne! Start with a layer of lasagne sheets (I use the ones that don't require precooking. Screw THAT for a joke!):

Then add a layer of bolognaise sauce:

And another layer of lasagne sheets:

And a second layer of bolognaise, along with a sprinkling of grated cheese:

Keep going until you run out of room in the dish - I had room for three layers of bolognaise and four layers of lasagne sheets. Then add the cheese sauce to the top:

Spread it across the top, and then cover the top in grated cheese:

Bake it for about an hour at 180 degrees. If it starts to get too brown, cover it with tin foil. I always test it with a skewer before I turn the oven off, just to make sure the noodles have cooked all the way through. Here's the finished product:

Sorry it's kind of a rubbish photo. I was on the phone to my mum and was wielding my SLR with one hand... And here it is ready for me to eat it:

OM NOM NOM NOM NOM. And because it's full of veggies, you don't have to bother with having salad on the side! It's pretty damned filling, so I don't usually have garlic bread with it, but feel free to go crazy. Similarly, you can put cheese between every layer if you want. And you can probably put cheese sauce between every layer if you want, too.

It's pretty versatile and pretty delicious, even if it does take a while to prepare!

Enjoy :)

K xx

6 comments:

  1. That looks good!

    I remember having to cook lasagne in Home economics (I *really* hated that subject). I was most upset when the teacher said that traditional bechamel sauce only contains flour, milk, butter, and nutmeg. Where's the freakin' cheese???? D:

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  2. Nutmeg! I knew there was something else that's meant to go in bechamel sauce. But I think I'd rather have it with mustard powder than nutmeg!

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  3. Lasagne always makes me think of Garfield.

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  4. It always make me think of Garfield too. Hopefully I eat it in a slightly more classy way... ;)

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  5. I love your step-by-step photo-documentation of the process. Makes it look so easy to prepare. :-D Found your blog via Bloggers. :-D

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  6. I find your cinnamon addition odd and intriguing – I’m going to have to try it! I make a similar sauce to you, but I try to use red wine instead of water to add liquid, and I’ll often add paprika too.

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