Lasagne is my ultimate comfort food. It was the meal I would always ask for on my birthday growing up and the meal that my mum would always make to welcome me home from Uni. Now, we all know that your own mother's cooking is the best. But! After a few years of trying to perfect my own lasagne recipe, I have to say I'm pretty proud of my version. (If you're reading I still love yours the most Mum, never fear!!)
I hold my hands up to the fact that lasagne is hardly a difficult dish to make, and I don't really have a "recipe" per say. But to be weirdly soppy about food, lasagne signifies home and its comforts to me. My housemate Joe has always said its my signature dish and he encouraged me to blog about it; so here we go!
- 1 pack of 500g beef mince
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 pack of chestnut mushrooms
- 2 cartons of chopped tomatoes
- tomato puree
- handful dried mixed herbs
- bunch of fresh basil
- bunch of fresh baby spinach
- lasagne sheets
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- plain flour
- mature cheddar cheese (as much as you like - go crazy!!)
Firstly, finely chop the onion and two cloves of garlic. Heat some oil in a large frying pan, and add the onion and garlic leaving to soften. Then add the pack of beef mince, separating in the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook until the mince has browned.
Meanwhile, quarter the chestnut mushrooms and add them to the frying pan. Then stir in the cartons of chopped tomatoes, handful of dried herbs and roughly two tablespoons of tomato puree. Cover the pan and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Pre-heat the oven to 220C.
In a saucepan, melt the butter on a medium heat. Add a few tablespoonfuls of plain flour and cook until combined, stirring quickly so it doesn't burn. Add a few good glugs of milk, and whisk continuously. Continue to add flour and milk, whisking continuously until you have the desired quantity and thickness of sauce. This is pretty much up to you, it depends how gloopy you like your white sauce and how much of it you want!
You then need to recruit a sous chef (your boyfriend/girlfriend, sister, brother, mother, father, friend, pet..okay maybe not pet!) to grate a shit-load of cheese. Or just a little bit...it depends how cheesy you like it. In this house-hold however? We lovee the cheese. Then add this to your pan and whisk until combined.
You're now ready to assemble! Wahoo! Grab a large roasting dish and pour a third of the meat sauce in. Spread it out and then cover in a layer of lasgane sheets. Spread over a third of the cheese sauce and add a layer of baby spinach. Repeat this three times (or as many as you can!) adding more grated cheese to the top.
Pop your masterpiece into the oven for about 30 minutes or until bubbling, golden and delicious! ENJOY. Just not straight away as you may burn your mouth, and I will take no responsibility! You have been warned!! :)
So, I hope you like my rough recipe! Let me know if you try my version :)