It was my daughter’s insistence and persistence that finally compelled me to pull out the pots (there’s a few needed!) to make lasagne.
I had avoided making lasagna up until now because all those layers just looked like hard work to me.
Having finally relented I discovered that it’s about as simple to make as spag bol, with just one extra (easy) step in making the cheesy bechamel sauce! The mind can play tricks on you it can : )
I made the traditional lasagna healthier simply by reducing the amount of meat and increasing the amount of vegetables. I also cooked it in some homemade chicken stock.
Simply by doing these two things, I’ve increased the vitamin, mineral, phytonutrient and fibre content of the dish. Also, cooking the meat in the chicken stock makes it more digestible, not to mention boosts the immune system and delivers all that gorgeous gelatin, collagen and glycine to the body.
Lasagna will be definitely making a regular appearance on my meal plans.
It’s hearty, filling and comforting, all the things my kids love.
- 250-350 grams dried lasagne sheets
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion , finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot , finely diced
- 1 stick of celery , finely diced
- 1 zucchini, finely diced
- 1 cup mushrooms (approx. three large), finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves , minced
- 400 gms beef mince
- 200 grams pork mince
- 2 x 400gm can crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- ½ cup red wine
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 2 tablespoons tamari sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and black pepper
- 3 tbsps butter
- 3 tbsps flour
- 2 - 3 cups milk
- 1.5 cup grated cheddar cheese
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- Sea salt and pepper
- Heat oil in a large heavy based pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes, then add garlic, celery, carrots. Cook for another 5 minutes until softened. Add zucchini and mushrooms and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Add beef and pork mince breaking it up as you go.
- Once browned, add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, chicken stock, bay leaves, thyme, basil, tamari, salt and pepper.
- Stir then pop lid on and simmer gently for 1 hour stirring occasionally. Remove lid and simmer for further 30 minutes until sauce reduces.
- Preheat oven to 180 C
- Make once meat and vegetable sauce is cooked.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium/low heat. Add flour and mix constantly for 1 minute and a smooth paste forms.
- Pour 1 cup of the milk in, mixing as you go to incorporate into the flour mixture. Once thickened add another cup of milk.
- Turn heat up to medium/ high. Stir occasionally, but when sauce starts to thicken, stir more regularly. If sauce is too thick gradually add in the last cup of milk, stirring as you go. Add in 1 cup cheese once the milk has thickened and stir.
- Use a large baking dish.
- Smear a bit of the meat sauce mixture on the base, then cover with lasagna sheets. Tear sheets to fit if necessary.
- Spread over enough meat sauce to cover the sheets and pour over some of the béchamel sauce.
- Top with lasagna sheets. Spread with more meat sauce, then pour on more béchamel sauce. Top with lasagna sheets then repeat 1 more time.
- Top with a 4th layer of lasagna sheets, then pour over the remaining bechamel sauce.
- Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, then bake for 25 minutes.
- Stand for 10 minutes before cutting and serving, serve with big Greek or green salad.
- You could do only 3 layers if you don't have enough lasagna sheets, meat sauce and bechamel sauce
If you make my recipes please take photos and send them to me, or if you share them on instagram, remember to tag me @brendajanschek. I get a total kick out of seeing you make my recipes.
And here are a couple other dinner recipe ideas you might love Summer Baked Meatballs with Kale and Juicy Tomato Sauce and Crispy Chicken with Garlicky Potato Cream Sauce.