Adventures with Lasagna

In the past few weeks, I’ve learnt how to make lasagne two ways – one with mince and one with lentils and mushrooms.

Beef Mince Lasagna

I used a recipe I found here for this dish.

Ingredients:

  • Lasagna sheets
  • Cheese
  • Oil
  • Onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Beef mince
  • 1x bottle pasta sauce
  • Butter/ margarine
  • Plain flour
  • Milk

Tools:

  • Frying pan
  • Saucepan
  • Baking dish
  • kitchen spoon and spatula
  • Cutlery and crockery plus containers to store the leftovers.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180*C. Chop onion and garlic finely – also chop veggies to steam to have with the lasagna.
  2. First, make the meat sauce – fry the onion and garlic until soft, then add the mince and cook until browned.
  3. Stir in the pasta sauce, then cover and simmer for 10-20 minutes.
  4. While it’s simmering, make the white sauce – heat the butter in the saucepan over low heat.
  5. Add the flour and mix until smooth.
  6. Gradually add the milk and gently bring to a boil, stirring until thick (try to avoid lumps!).
  7. Add cheese (I grated mine in) and stir until melted.
  8. Construct lasagna by lightly greasing a baking dish, then layering meat sauce, white sauce and lasagna sheets – make sure the lasagna sheets are fully covered. The topmost layer should be a white sauce layer.
  9. Add extra cheese and scatter herbs on top.
  10. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes (cook vegetables on the stove at the same time)
  11. Plate up and eat! I got four lasagna portions when I made this.

Lentil and Mushroom Lasagna

I got the recipe for this lasagna from Jack Monroe’s Ultimate Lasagne.

Ingredients:

  • garlic
  • lentils
  • mushrooms
  • leafy winter greens & peas
  • pasta sauce/ diced tomatoes
  • mixed herbs
  • onion
  • flour
  • oil/ butter/ margarine
  • milk

Tools:

  • Frying pan
  • Saucepan
  • Baking dish
  • kitchen spoon and spatula
  • Cutlery and crockery plus containers to store the leftovers.

Method:

  1. Peel and finely chop onion, garlic and vegetables.
  2. Gently fry the onion and garlic in oil for a few minutes on medium heat.
  3. Drain and rinse the lentils then add them to the pan. Add tomatoes and herbs. Jack adds a splash of wine here, too, but I didn’t have any so use a splash of vegetable stock instead.
  4. Turn up the heat to bring to a boil, then turn down again to medium to simmer.
  5. Ensure mushrooms are “chopped to smithereens” – they’re supposed to have an “almost-mince-like texture”.
  6. Add chopped mushrooms to the pan with leafy greens (and peas, in my case). Give it a stir.
  7. While the lentils are cooking and absorbing flavour, make the white sauce. Heat the oil/margarine and flour together and stir to form a paste.
  8. Add a splash of milk to loosen it, then another splash. Stir while you keep adding splashes of milk until it reaches a good consistency – don’t rush it.
  9. Once all of the milk is incorporated, leave it to cook on a low heat for about ten minutes or so as it thickens.
  10. Preheat oven to 180*C and lightly grease a baking dish. Spoon a layer of the lentil-mushroom mix into the dish, then add a layer of lasagna sheets, then a layer of the white sauce. Repeat until all of the lentil-mushroom mix is gone, remembering to finish with a white sauce layer.
  11. Place into the oven and bake for around thirty minutes, or more if the lasagna sheets aren’t cooked when you stick a knife into the top.
  12. Plate up and eat. Again, this gave me four portions.

 

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