I tried this lasagne over the weekend. It was my first!! I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do a vegetarian a coeliac or a meat lasagne so I decided to do a bit of them all.
I actually loved it! The veggies made the mince ‘softer’ and it also allowed me to use less pasta. It was a bit of extra work but well worth it in the end. Stick with me!
– 1kg of mince
– 2 onions finely sliced
– 3 garlic gloves crushed
– 1 cup of mushrooms diced
– handful of basil, torn
– 500g tin tomatoes
– 500g of any pasta sauce
– 1 large eggplant cut into strips a little thicker than your pasta sheets
– 2 large zucchini’s cut into strips as above
– 150g butter
– 150g corn flour
– 1 ½ lt milk
One packet of fresh lasagne sheets.
Should make 2 medium size of one large lasagne. Put over to 200degC
1) Sweat your eggplant. To sweat, slice your eggplant, put slices into a strainer and sprinkle with salt. This draws the water out of the eggplant so place your strainer over the sink or a bowl.
2) Slice zucchini and set aside.
3) Fry off your onion and garlic in a splash of olive oil in a large pan. Once they start to brown add mince with a nice pinch of salt.
4) Add mushrooms. I like to cook all ingredients well as it brings out the flavour.
5) Add tomatoes, sauce and basil. Bring to the boil and let it simmer. You want this sauce to thicken but still be juicy. Too thick and the lasagne will be dry and too wet it will be sloppy.
6) While your sauce simmers rinse your eggplant and pat dry (or leave it for 5 minutes).
7) Grill eggplant and zucchini in a splash of oil and set aside. If you like it char grilled then go ahead, I love it like that! It’s a bit much for the kids so I just cook till it’s soft.
8) Béchamel sauce. Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
9) Once butter has melted add flour. It’s important you don’t step away. Keep it on low to med heat, stir constantly. Use a whisk to avoid lumps.
10) Once mixture resembles a paste, gradually add your milk, stir constantly. You may not need all of the milk, the aim is to have the sauce coating the back of a wooden spoon. Feel free to get fancy with your béchamel. Heat the milk with cloves and peppercorns first, add nutmeg or cheese to the sauce, the options are endless.
11) Put it all together. A thin layer of meat sauce and a sheet of pasta to start then meat, grilled veggies, béchamel, pasta, and repeat. I keep my layers thin but this is up to you. Finish with pasta, béchamel and some grated cheese.
12) Bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is nice and brown. It just needs to bake long enough to cook the pasta.
Coelic’s don’t despair, there is something here for you too! Mum was over so I made her a mini one and left out the pasta. Perfecto!