Like a big, warm, all-consuming hug from Mum, this lasagna recipe – with fresh layers of pasta, olive oil, mushrooms, garlic, cheese, and beef – is worth returning to the roost for.
Baked in the oven for 35-40 minutes and enjoyed with a glass of red wine and your nearest and dearest, every wrong is magically and deliciously put right.
Preheat oven to 170C
3 sheets of fresh lasagna
For the Filling
2 tbsp olive oil
500 gm premium minced beef
1 tin tomatoes (organic if possible)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 brown onion, diced
½ stick of celery, diced
6 swiss brown mushrooms, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups water
1 large carrot, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 glass of good quality white wine
1 tbsp fresh thyme or pinch of dried thyme
Salt and pepper
In a heavy based pan pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil and gently heat.
Stir-in celery, carrot, onion, mushrooms and garlic. Cover with lid and allow vegetable to sweat on a gentle heat for 5 minutes.
Add white wine, turning up the heat for 2 minutes. In a separate pan add 1 tablespoon olive oil, heat and add minced beef. Cook until brown.
Add cooked minced beef to the vegetables and stir. Add tin tomatoes and tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme and seasoning. Add water and stir. Place the lid on the pan and bring to the boil for 2 minutes, then turn down the heat and simmer for 35 minutes.
For the Cheese Sauce
1 cup low fat milk
1 tbs plain flour
1 tbs butter (organic if possible)
1 tsp dijon mustard
¼ cup cheddar cheese, grated
2 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
Place butter in small saucepan and melt gently, take the pan off the heat and
stir-in flour. Return to low heat and gradually add the milk, stirring constantly (to avoid lumps). When all the milk has been added, turn up the heat for one minute – this cooks the flour into the sauce and avoids the floury taste of the sauce. Allow to cool, then stir-in dijon mustard and grated cheese.
Putting it all together
Measure the lasagna sheets to fit the dish. Using a large bowl of cold water, dip each sheet in the water and pat dry with kitchen towel. Place a little of the meat sauce at the bottom of the dish (enough to cover the base), then place one sheet of lasagna. Add a layer of meat sauce, followed by a layer of cheese sauce. Repeat until the last sheet of lasagna is ready to go on top.
Press down gently and finish with the cheese sauce and grated parmesan.
Place in a 170C oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cheese has become deliciously oozey and golden.