Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Recipe: Lasagne

I made lasagne for tea last night, and realised to my amazement that I've never shared my recipe - I don't know quite how this has happened, because I think it's my favourite dish EVER. I get it at every Italian restaurant I ever go to, I'd eat it twice a week if I was allowed. I'm currently eating last night's leftovers for lunch. I LOVE lasagne. So anyway, this is how I make my lasagne - it's not a very traditional recipe, but I like to bulk out a small amount of meat with more vegetables, for two reasons; a) Vegetables are cheaper than meat, and b) I LOVE VEGETABLES. More than I even love lasagne.
This takes about 40 minutes to prepare/assemble, plus another 35-40 minutes in the oven to bake, and serves 4.
I start by making the meat sauce. These are my ingredients:
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Basically, I slice up a large-ish onion and a couple of cloves of garlic, and chuck them in a frying pan with about 150g mince. I used beef, it works equally well with turkey, which is also better for you as it's leaner. While the mince browns and the onion softens, I slice up a pepper and as many mushrooms as I can find (I really love mushrooms!) - you can substitute whatever you want in here, really. Aubergine is good! Then I throw them into the pan.
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While I wait for the vegetables to soften, I prepare the ingredients for my cheese sauce: 30g each of plain flour and butter (or, in this case, sunflower spread), 1 pint of milk, and about 100g of grated cheese, I used mature cheddar.
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Then, I add a carton of chopped tomatoes to my frying pan with the mince and veg, plus some water - I just refill the carton, this way you get all the tomatoey bits too! You can use red wine instead of water, but water is cheaper, and I'm not a fan of wine anyway... Bring this to the boil then turn down to a gentle simmer whilst preparing the cheese sauce.
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First, I melt the butter in a saucepan with the flour, which ends up looking like a yellow-ish dough - or like popcorn, in this photo.
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Then, I start to add the milk, a couple of tablespoons at a time, stirring thoroughly with a wooden spoon after each addition. Gradually, the dough thins down to a sort of sauce, at which point you can add more of the milk at a time, until it's all in. Then you need to let it bubble, stirring well, until it thickens - this takes about five minutes. Just keep stirring, it'll get there! Excuse the fact that I've obviously stirred a bit too enthusiastically and sloshed it all over my hob in the picture below... Once it's thickened, take it OFF THE HEAT.
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Then, stir in about three-quarters of the grated cheese. Add some black pepper, if you like. Ta-dah, cheese sauce made. And people buy this stuff!
By now, the meat sauce should have thickened, so it's time to assemble the lasagne:
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I start by spooning half the meat sauce into an ovenproof dish, then placing lasagne sheets over. Cover with about a third of the cheese sauce, then add the rest of the meat sauce and more lasagne sheets. Top with the remaining two-thirds of the cheese sauce, then sprinkle with the rest of the grated cheese.
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Bake in the oven at 180°C / Gas 4 for 35-40 minutes, or until the cheese is crispy and golden. I serve with even more vegetables - last night, it was steamed broccoli and green beans - yum!
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Have you ever made lasagne? What's your favourite meal? Let me know how you get on, if you decide to give this a whirl!

xo

12 comments:

  1. Great recipe, definitely want to try this! :) x

    http://www.bowtiedbeauty.blogspot.com/

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    1. Let me know how you get on if you do! :) xo

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  2. I LOVE LASAGNE TOOO!!!

    Literally obsessed with the stuff :P

    I love lentil lasagne though. As the bf is a veggie I had to come up with a veggie alternative :)

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    1. SHUN THE NON BELIEVER! I don't think I could cope with a veggie boyfriend haha! Lentil lasagne does sound lovely, but I don't think it could beat the meat version ;D xo

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  3. Mmmm looks yummy!

    http://alittlebitunique.blogspot.co.uk/

    x

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  4. It's my favorite dish also

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    1. Can't go wrong with a good lasagne! :) xo

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  5. This looks amazing Jess, I love mushrooms too! Think my fave would have to be a massive vegetable pasta bake or curry.

    Loving the new blog layout too :) xx

    Lucy Loves To Blog

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    1. Oooh curry! I want a curry now haha. Aw thanks Lucy :) xo

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  6. My god, that final picture makes me hungry. I used to order lasagne everywhere I went but now I try to be a bit more adventurous. That backfired on me on our honeymoon in Florence though when my husband ordered the most amazing lasagne ever and I had to watch in jealousy whilst I ate a tomato and mozzarella salad!
    xxx

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    1. Oh no! I think I'd have to have lasagne if I ever went to Italy. Mind you, the salad sounds pretty good too :P xo

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