Thursday, 13 January 2011


Lasagne is such a great dish to make for a crowd. It's one of those things that tastes better as it matures so it's good (and handy) to make a couple of days in advance. I make it using my Dad's famous Bolognese sauce, taught to him by my Grandma when he left home. But I must admit that for the white sauce...  I shamefully used Dolmio.... (only because I was pushed for time and we had some in the cupboard)... If you want to be better and more virtuous than I was, Delia has a good basic recipe for a white sauce. I always use green pasta sheets in lasagne, I think it adds another dimension along with the mushrooms. I serve it with a balsamic dressed green salad. If you drain all the fat off the mince (see recipe), it makes for a healthy dinner.

Ingredients - (makes 1 big lasagne to feed about 6 depending on the size of your dish, you'll probably have some sauce left which you could freeze or serve with some pasta the next day)

2 x 600g lean mince
1 pack closed cup mushrooms, chopped
1 large white onion, diced
3 tins tomato purée
3 tins chopped tomatoes
Good glug of red white
Salt, pepper to season
Garlic flavoured olive oil
2 garlic cloves
Sprinkling of italian mixed herbs
A few gratings of parmesan cheese
Quantity of white sauce (see Delia's recipe or if you're lazy like me, a jar of dolmio)
Lasagne dried pasta sheets  - green is good

1. Fry off the onion in some garlic oil and then brown the mince. Once browned, drain away as much liquid/fat as you can down the sink. Then add the garlic and mushrooms.

2. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée and wine and stir to coat all of the mince.

3. Add some herbs, lots of black pepper and a little salt then grate some parmesan cheese into the sauce.

4. Leave to simmer while stirring occasionally and leave it cooking for about 15-20mins on a low heat to thicken slightly.

5. Once all cooked and cooled (if the sauce is still warm, it will make the pasta curl) you can start to assemble the lasagne. Get a large ovenproof dish and spoon a good layer of sauce to cover the bottom, spreading out evenly. Then cover with a layer of the pasta sheets, cover with a layer of the white sauce, then put more meat sauce before topping again with pasta and the white sauce to finish. Grate some parmesan cheese over the top to crisp it up while it cooks.

6. You can now cover it with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for a couple of days. When cooking the lasagne, let it come up to temperate out of the fridge a couple of hours before and then cook for about 50 minutes in a preheated oven at 180c. It's best when the top has browned and the sauce is just bubbling up at the edges. Serve with a salad.

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