“Why Did I Ever Think It Was So Hard” Lasagne

It’s only fairly recently that I realised that lasagne really wasn’t a difficult dish to make. Or better still my cooking skills and interests have evolved. The first time I made it (in my early 20s when cooking was something I just had to do if I wanted to eat), I remember the corner of the lasagne sheets at the top were horribly crunchy. I think now that I didn’t cover it with enough sauce.  I also thought what a hassle to have to make the meat sauce as well as béchamel AND then having to assemble it.

Things have changed. Not only do I make the bolognese and béchamel but I add a third filling of ricotta and silverbeet.

Bechamel sauce used to intrigue me. I couldn’t work out why it was so lumpy. Donna Hay and the whisk saved me.

There’s not much to this recipe. The good ingredients speak for themselves.  I try to use organic where possible. This recipe would feed around 6-8 people. Three of us had it for dinner, then lunch the next day (school and work) and we still had some left over!

Bolognese sauce

Vegetarians – instead of meat, use vegies like diced pumpkin, cauliflower and mushrooms

Bolognese sauce

  • 700g jar of passata
  • 500 grams good lean mince (pork or beef)
  • Oregano and basil (I used dried but can use fresh)
  • 1 large grated zucchini

Heat oil in pan, add mince, sauté till brown. Add salt, pepper. Add passata, zucchini, dried herbs. Lid on, simmer for half hour at least.

Silverbeet and Ricotta

Ricotta and silverbeet

  • Three big handfuls of silverbeet (removed from stems)
  • One tub 250-300 grams ricotta
  • Garlic (two cloves crushed if fresh; I used a heaped teaspoon of minced).

Chop or tear silverbeet into small pieces and place in bowl. Add garlic and ricotta. Combine well. Add salt, pepper.

Bechamel sauce

Bechamel sauce

I find Donna Hay’s recipe the best and so easy. One, one, one – ie 1 cup, 1 tbsp

For this recipe

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp white flour
  • 2 cups milk (I used low fat)

Melt butter in saucepan. Turn heat down. Add in flour. Stir vigorously with wooden spoon until it forms a smooth paste. Pour in milk slowly while whisking (this is an important step to stop lumps from forming). Turn heat up a bit. Keep whisking until it thickens (this happens around boiling point). Add salt, pepper.

Extras

  • Grated cheese (I used tasty but I think a bit of parmesan and pecorino would work too)
  • Lasagne sheets (I used fresh but dried is okay too)

Assembling and baking

lasagne-ready

Preheat oven to 180c.

In a baking dish (I used a 33 cm by 22 cm), spoon a little bit of the bolognese on the bottom.

Top with one layer of lasagne sheets. Do not overlap. Cut smaller pieces if necessary.

Spread with half the bolognese sauce.

Top with another layer of lasagne sheets.

Spread with all the ricotta and silverbeet.

Top with another layer of lasagne sheets.

Spread with the remainder of the bolognese sauce.

Top with the béchamel and a couple handfuls of grated cheese.

Place a piece of foil over the dish (leave a bit of slack so the cheese doesn’t melt onto the inside top of the foil)

Bake for 20 mins.

Remove the foil.

Bake for another 15-20 mins until lasagne is cooked and golden brown.

lasagne-ready

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5 Responses to “Why Did I Ever Think It Was So Hard” Lasagne

  1. LFFL says:

    That’s funny. I always thought it would be so difficult too until I made it one day. It was nothing.

  2. lena says:

    Loved the lasagne as did the whole family- much nicer than the one I had been making. The silverbeet makes it taste so fresh- I added some fresh basil in with the silverbeet, which was nice.
    Lena

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