Feel Good Lasagne Recipe

Feel Good Lasagne

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Ingredients

  • 300g good minced beef
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 large good quality raw sausages
  • 5 rashers of smoked bacon
  • about 9 sheets of lasagne (I prefer to use fresh pasta for this, but obviously your garden variety dried lasagne will do too)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes (I like using Waitrose chopped tomatoes with olives)
  • 2 heaped tbsp tomato paste
  • 3-4 stalks of fresh rosemary, leaves plucked and stems discarded
  • 2 tsp dried greek oregano
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 wineglass full of dry white wine
  • shitload of shredded mozzarella (the packeted stuff you find in the supermarket will do fine - I usually find fresh mozzarella a bit rich for this dish, due to the amount used)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve

How to make Feel Good Lasagne


My mom always used to make lasagne at home on special-ish occasions, like someone's birthday party, and because of that it's always been a sort of feel-good dish for me. I used to watch her make it, and if I was good she'd allow me to stir the beef-and-tomato mixture, or dunk in the dried herbs. I had a bit of a craving for lasagne today, so took a trip down to the supermarket and decided to whip up a batch a la Rachel. :) Serves 4-6, depending on how greedy you are. I ate about a quarter then had to lie down 'cos I was soooo stuffed.

Note: My oven temperature was a liiiittle bit too high for the batch I made in the picture, hence the cheese was rather brown. It was still really nice and crusty though, thankfully it didn't burn and get ruined! I have lowered the temperature in the following recipe accordingly.

  1. Heat up a fairly large saucepan, and pour a good glug of olive oil in. Roughly chop up the bacon, and run your knife through the rosemary (just to chop it up a little, don't bother about getting it too fine). Bosh the bacon and rosemary into the pan, and let it colour slightly, giving it a stir every now and then.
  2. Using the tip of a sharp knife, run the blade down one side of each sausage, then peel the skin off the sausage. Either using your hands or the knife, break it up into smaller bits, and mush it about a bit. When the bacon has gone a little golden, whack the sausagemeat in and give it a good stir to break up the chunks.
  3. When the sausagemeat is about halfway cooked through, add in the minced beef. Keep it moving around the pan to make sure you don't get chunks that are too big, or it'll be difficult to assemble your lasagne later on. When the beef is about 70% cooked, add in the wine, and turn the heat up to full whack and cook, stirring, until the wine has evaporated.
  4. Add in the tomatoes and tomato paste now, along with the oregano, thyme, nutmeg and cinnamon. Season well with salt and pepper (keep in mind that the bacon and sausagemeat are both rather salty too). Give it a really good stir, bring the mixture up to a boil, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting, partially cover it, and simmer for about 45 minutes.
  5. Towards the end of the 45 minutes, bring a saucepan of salted water to a rapid boil, and preheat your oven to about 150°C.
  6. Ladle out a just enough of the beef-and-tomato mixture to cover the base of an ovenproof dish, then cover it thinly with shredded mozzarella. Blanch 3 pasta sheets (or as many as you need to cover the dish in one layer) quickly, i.e. just for about 30 seconds to a minute: you just want to soften it. Lay these out over the cheese. Repeat the layering 2 or 3 more times, depending on how much meat sauce you have and the size of your baking dish. 3 layers is more than enough for me.
  7. Ensuring that you have enough meat sauce to cover the top layer very well, spread it out, making sure that the edges and all the bits of pasta are well covered, or they'll dry out and become hard. Cover the entire top with the rest of your shredded cheese, and bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is nicely golden brown and the pasta is fully cooked.
  8. Serve piping hot, with a scattering of freshly grated parmesan cheese.
  • telliecoin
    telliecoin says

    yum! lagsane is one of my favourite things to eat

  • theory
    theory says

    Like Garfield, I looooove lasagna. I always make it layering a strong bechamel (with nutmeg) amongst the meat and noodles, leaving the mozzarella for the top. I think it makes the whole thing smooth and silky rather than dense, which can sometimes be a danger when using a lot of cheese.

  • rachel
    rachel says

    theory: Yeah, I've seen a number of recipes like that! I've wanted to try it out, but A) this is how my mom made it, and B) I'm lazy to make a bechamel! Heh. Will defo try it out next time, though. Do you have a recipe?

  • theory
    theory says

    Hmmm, I haven't made it in a few months but I generally try to make a slightly thicker bechamel than most recipes call for - cooking for 10-20 minutes to cook out the flour taste, milk flavoured with laurel and onion and adding plenty of grated nutmeg to the cooked bechamel. I also keep the layers of meat sparing, because I think often lasagne has too much meat. It's still a pasta dish and I think the pasta should still be the main event. Leaving the lasagne for 10-20 minutes after baking before serving also helps everything come together and stay together when you cut it. I know my friend asked me for the recipe when I made it last time so if I can find what I sent to her I will message you. Otherwise, I'll post a "Bechamel Lasagne" recipe here next time I make it.

  • rachel
    rachel says

    yes post it! would love to see the picture too. :) cheers!

  • Laynie
    Laynie says

    I looooove lasagna, especially when the cheese is grilled until brown. But I actually find it really complex to make. My own attempts so far have been inedible. Practice makes perfect, maybe.

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