Sheenie’s Lasagne

Now here’s something I’ve been wanting to share – my own lasagne recipe. I’ve been using this for more than 10 years and it never fails to disappoint. I refuse to try any other as I am so comfortable with having perfected my own.  And mum absolutely loves it!

I’ve never made lasagne with ready-made sauces so I don’t know how the taste differs. Making them may take longer than pouring out of a jar but I do know everything that goes in it is fresh and organic with no additives and preservatives.

By the way I’ve recently invested in a pasta making machine and once I get round to actually taking it out of the box (!), I hope to make my own lasagne sheets.

Ingredients:

For the b
olognese

  • olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 500g lean minced beef/lamb
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 575g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • a pinch of salt
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon of chilli powder (optional)
  • Lasagne sheets (dried, fresh or home-made)
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

For the bechamel sauce

  • 600ml milk
  • 250g mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 120g flour
  • 120g butter

Oven setting: Gas mark 4/180°C/350°F

Serves 4-6

Method:

  1. On a moderate heat, fry the garlic in olive oil in a saucepan for about 30 seconds, until it turns golden.
  2. Add the chopped onions and carrots, and cook for about 10 minutes until they become soft.
  3. Add the mince and fry until it turns brown.  You could use minced chicken if you prefer which will cook quicker.
  4. Add the puree and chopped tomatoes, cook for a further 10 minutes and then leave to simmer for 45 minutes, occasionally stirring.
  5. Grease a large ovenproof dish and set aside for later.
  6. To make the bechamel sauce, boil the milk.
  7. Melt the butter in a separate saucepan and add flour to it slowly until it resembles a paste but remember to keep stirring or you’ll get lumps.
  8. Remove from the heat immediately, then add the boiled milk to it slowly whilst stirring quickly at the same time. This does require some coordination!
  9. Return to a low heat and continue to stir in order to keep it to sauce-like consistency.
  10. Put the cubed mozzeralla into the bechamel sauce and stir rigorously until it melts.
  11. If the bolognese looks dry, add a few drops of water.
  12. If the bechamel sauce starts to thicken, add a splash of milk. You have to judge by consistency and add little by little if and when required.
  13. Place some lasagne sheets on the base of the dish and pour some bolognese on top.
  14. Then pour the sauce and add another layer of lasagne sheets.
  15. Repeat the process until the sauce remains as the top layer.  You should get two layers of each mixture.
  16. Sprinkle Parmesan on top and cook in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.
The entire process takes about 90 minutes from start to finish. For a vegetarian version, you could try Quorn, which I imagine cooks quicker than meat or create your own vegetable medley and layer between the white sauce and pasta sheets. Serve piping hot with roast potatoes, green beans, sweetcorn or other vegetables of your choice.
If I’ve left something out, please let me know.  And of course, I’d love to know how you got on with this recipe if you choose to try it.
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