Ooooof – lasagne. Lazy because it’s melt in the mouth tender meat and full of vegetables, slow cooked in a dreamy rich tomato sauce and then tucked up under blankets of pasta. Toasted cheese is the top eiderdown.
For 4 hungry people you will need:
1 red onion
2 garlic cloves
400g British beef mince (lean and preferably organic)
500g Passata (roughly three quarters of a large jar of passata)
3 large carrots
200g of spinach
A few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp of stock
1 tsp of mixed herbs
For the cheese white sauce:
2 tsp of Cornflour
70g mature cheddar cheese + an extra chunk for topping
A quarter of a pint of whole milk
In a large saucepan cover the base of the pan with a little extra virgin olive oil and add finely sliced onion and crushed garlic cloves on a low heat. Add the minced beef and try to chop it into tiny pieces with a large metal spoon as it starts to brown. Stir the meat together with the onions until the beef is brown all over.
Add boiling water to the saucepan to cover the meat completely and leave to simmer on a medium/high heat. Grate the carrots (or you can use your peeler to ‘peel’ the carrots in) and chop the leeks very finely and add them to the saucepan with a bit more boiling water. Add 2 teaspoons of stock and a teaspoon of mixed herbs and stir before leaving to simmer for 15 minutes, after which time you may need to add a bit more boiling water and stir. Aim to constantly have the meat immersed in water at all times, which makes it lovely and tender.
Put the lid on the saucepan and leave for 20 minutes to simmer, stirring regularly, adding extra boiling water if necessary.
Soak the lasagne sheets in boiling water until they soften slightly (check the instructions on your lasagne sheets as it’s different for fresh and dried!)
Add the passata to the saucepan and stir thoroughly and putting the lid back on the saucepan.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Now make the rich cheesy sauce. In a small saucepan pour in half the milk and add the cornflour (while the pan is still cold) and stir until the cornflour has dissolved. Now turn on the heat to a low temperature and, while stirring continuously, add the butter and the rest of the milk. When the sauce starts to thicken and bubble continue stirring for a few minutes. Chop the cheese into cubes and add it to the pan, continue to stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to make sure it doesn’t stick and once the sauce is thick, smooth and bubbling remove from the heat.
Add the spinach to the meat sauce and stir.
Pour a bit of the tomato-meat sauce into a large oven dish and evenly distribute it across the pan. Cover with lasagne sheets and pour over a bit of the cheese sauce. Repeat until it reaches the top of the oven dish, covering the entire dish with the remaining cheese sauce, and put into the oven and cook for half an hour.
Wait until the cheese has toasted before covering with grated cheese 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
I notice lasagne
is spelled or spelt (??)
differently in America:
our British tongues
sagely type ‘lasagne’
resigned with the quietest vowel
at the end.
‘Lasagna’ on the other hand
sings a spritely authentic ‘a’!
‘Ah! lasagne! lasagna!’