With this immense cold weather that feels like its been going on forever I have been craving comfort food big time, so what better than a hearty lasagne! Perfect for making 2 portions and freezing one for later. We love ours with tender stem broccoli but also great in the summer with a nice crisp salad. I think this is the food equivalent to having a great big hug!
- 150g dried lasagne sheets
- 125g cheddar cheese
- 6 mozzarella balls, roughly torn
For the bolognese sauce
- 500g organic lean beef mince
- 1 red onion, finely chopped.
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 250ml red wine
- 2 x 400g tin of chopped tomoatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- Handful of cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
For the white bechamel sauce
- 700 ml semi-skimmed hot milk
- 2 dry bay leaves
- 1½ tbsp plain flour
- 2 knobs of butter
- 50g parmesan cheese, grated.
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- Put a large deep pan on the stove on a medium heat and add the olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the chopped garlic, onion and carrots and stir. Heat for about 5 minutes until they start to soften.
- Add the minced beef, breaking it up in the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook for 10 minutes (ensure all the meat is brown and no longer red).
- Stir in the wine, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree and season.
- Bring to the boil, then turn to a low-medium heat, add the lid of the pan and simmer for 30 minutes, giving it a good stir every 10 minutes at least, if it looks a little too dry add a few tablespoons of water but it should make up a lovely thick sauce.
- Now the bolognese sauce is cooking away, you can make the béchamel sauce. In a separate smaller pan, melt the butter. Add the flour and constantly stir to form a bubbling paste. Slowly add your hot milk, a little at a time, constantly stirring to ensure there are no lumps, until the milk is all added. Add your bay leaves. Simmer for 5 minutes then take the bay leaves out as no longer needed. Add the parmesan cheese, ground nutmeg and some salt and pepper, stir well.
- When both sauces are ready, you can start to prepare your layers of lasagne.
- Preheat the oven to 180 fan.
- Spoon a third of the bolognese sauce into your lasagne dish. Cover with the dried lasagne sheets, ensure these don’t overlap each other or they won’t cook, break them up if necessary. Then spoon over a third of your béchamel sauce. Then another layer of bolognese, lasagne sheets and béchamel. Repeat once more so the final layer is of the béchamel sauce.
- Sprinkle over the cheddar cheese, then break up the mozzarella balls and evenly place on the top. Season well.
- Cook in the oven for about 40 minutes, check by placing a fork or spoon right into the centre of the dish to ensure its hot in the middle. If the lasagne starts to brown too quickly and looks burnt on top, loosely place a sheet of tin foil over the dish in the oven. If its burning you might want to reduce the heat to 160 fan to ensure it gets cooked right through to the middle.
- Once cooked through, take out of the oven and allow to settle for a minute or so on a wooden board, then slice up into 4-6 separate portions and serve.