Lasagne Day: Classic lasagne recipe from Amber Wright, The Foodie Mum

Happy Lasagne Day, 29 July 2016!

A trip to Rome with her husband in 2012 inspired Amber Wright from The Foodie Mum to create this classic lasagne recipe. Amber recalls, “we found this little Italian place with red checkered tablecloths and a perfect view of the Castel Sant’Angelo. My husband ordered the lasagne and OH MY GOSH it was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. From then on I’ve been researching and trying to replicate what we had that day. This closest tasting lasagne to the one I had in Rome“. I’m sold!

The Foodie Mum, Amber Wright’s classic lasagne, inspired by a lasagne she tasted on holiday in Rome

Serves 4 to 6

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Plain flour
  • 4 cups milk 
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato passata
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 chuck steak & 1 pork scotch fillet steak, minced or 1 packet of mince
  • 8 pasta sheets (use 1 lot of my fresh pasta) 
  • 3 Cups cheese (I used cheddar, but you can use any other cheese you like)

1. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. 

2. When butter has melted, add flour and whisk until smooth. 

3. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly to prevent any lumps. Continue simmering and keep whisking over medium heat until the sauce is thick, smooth and creamy, this will take around 10 minutes. 

4. Remove from the heat and add the nutmeg and tomato passata. Stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper and set aside and allow to cool.

5. In a frying pan heat the oil, add the mince and season. Brown mince and remove from heat; drain any excess fat on kitchen paper. Set aside and allow to cool completely.

6. Cook pasta sheets until al dente.

Layering the pasta sheets, mince, sauce and cheese

7. Into the bottom of a  baking dish, spread 1/3 of the sauce mixture. Arrange the pasta sheets side by side, covering the bottom of the baking dish. Spread a thin layer of mince, sauce and cheese (in that order). 

8. Top with next pasta sheets and repeat the process until all mixture is used up (make sure top layer is just pasta and sauce). 

9. Top with any remaining cheese and bake in an oven for 40 mins or until golden brown, bubbling and hot.

Bake for 40 mins or until golden brown

TIP: I topped my lasagna with pancetta breadcrumbs for a crunchy top.

Thanks to Amber Wright from The Foodie Mum for sharing this delicious recipe. 
My passion in life is to cook and feed the people I love and since becoming a mum this has become even more important to me. I have a passion for all types of food from baking cookies with my kids to an amazing fillet mignon for a romantic dinner with my hubby,” says Amber. Family and friends frequently ask Amber for her recipes, so Amber decided to start a blog to share her favourite recipes. The Foodie Mum blog was born. Amber lives in Perth, WA with her husband and two gorgeous children, daughter Lelah and my new son Maden. Check out Amber’s blog here:

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Lasagne Day: Classic lasagne recipe from Noosa Local Life

Friday 29 July 2016 is Lasagne Day. To celebrate this delicious dish, which is a staple in many households, we’re sharing a couple of our favourite lasange recipes. 

A brief history of lasange:
Contrary to popular belief, the origins of lasagne can be traced back to ancient Greece (not Italy), with the name Lasagna, or “Lasagne” derived from the Greek word ‘Laganon’, which is the first known form of pasta. 

However, Laganon was not made from the traditional Italian ingredients most people would associate with lasagne (bolognaise, bechamel sauce, cheese, etc.), but in fact layers of pasta and sauce. So really, the name “lasagne” was derived from the technique of layered pasta with sauce, rather than the ingredients. A recipe for lasagne was also uncovered in a British cookbook that dates back to the 1390s, so the Brits have also laid their claim to the first lasagne! Source: Bravo Italian

Serves 4 -6

375g fresh lasagne sheets


  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 500g lean minced beef
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) red wine


  • 60g butter
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 125g cheddar cheese, grated
  • pinch of salt and black pepper

1. Grease 30 x 20cm lasagne dish. For the meat sauce, heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the beef and stir until browned.

2. Add the tomatoes, mixed herbs, sugar, salt, pepper, tomato paste and wine. Stir well and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius.

3. For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly, with a wooden spoon, for 1 minute. Add the milk and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the nutmeg, half the cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

4. Put a third of the meat sauce into the bottom of the prepared dish. Cover with a layer of lasagne sheet. Spread a third of the cheese sauce over the lasagne and cover with another layer of lasagne. Continue alternating meat sauce, lasagne sheet and cheese sauce, finishing with a layer of cheese sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

5. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling. Serve with a green salad.


  • For tomato lovers, chop some cherry tomatoes in half and lay them around top edge of the lasagne and then sprinkle over some grated parmesan cheese.
  • I also love grating carrot and zucchini into my meat sauce and leaving to simmer for as long as possible to thicken the sauce and add extra fibre to the dish. The longer you leave the sauce to simmer, the more the veggies will “dissolve” into the dish so the little people in your household won’t be able to see them. 
    This recipe was kindly shared with us by Noosa Local Life Neighbourhood Website, a community and visitors ‘one stop online hub’ for relevant, consistent and dynamic local knowledge about the Noosa Area. Check out the website,

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    Inspiring People: Alexandria Blaelock, writer

    A kidney transplant, redundancy, and trying something new for 30 days were some of the main catalysts that encouraged Alexandria Blaelock to become an author. Here’s how she did it…

    1. Tell us your story:
    I was Alexandria Blaelock, Melbourne Project Manager up until my redundancy, but now I have a different story. My kidney transplant changed my perspective on everything, and now I write books that translate the lost knowledge of the early-twentieth century for modern life.

    2. How did you identify the goal/s you wanted to achieve?
    I had been unhappily unemployed for many years, and it felt like checking the job boards, and applying for jobs, and following up on applications every day was crushing my soul. I saw a TED talk where Matt Cutts challenged you to try something new for 30 days. I’d wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember, so I took a month off the job search and challenged myself to write one in that time.

    3. How did you work towards achieving your goal – did you have a plan and a deadline to achieve your goals?
    I had no idea how to write a book, so I bought one that told me how. I chose to write a book about how to host a dinner party because with event management as part of my career it was something I knew I wouldn’t have to research much. Then I wrote an outline, set daily word targets, and wrote like there was no tomorrow to get it done in time.

    4. What was the biggest challenge you encountered along the way?
    Self-doubt for sure. I knew I could write, and I knew I could get things done, but I didn’t know if the book would be right or if anyone would buy it. But I acknowledged my fear, and told myself that I had wasted too much of my life through fear already; it didn’t matter whether anyone bought the book, the important thing was to finish it. To be able to say that I had written a book.

    5. What inspires you and keeps you going when you encounter obstacles?
    I once heard someone describing life as like going to a restaurant to eat, you just pick what you want from the menu. Next week, you might pick the same thing, or maybe something different. I’m just putting my work on the menu; you might not pick it this week or even this year, but when you need it, it’s right there on the menu.

    6. What advice do you have for anyone wanting to achieve a goal?
    Life is not a reality TV show, so just keep going! Usually, when you hear about some sort of achievement, it’s presented through the frame of “overnight success”; like the 45-minute home renovation that actually takes months. All goals take time, and you have to keep taking all the tiny steps that put you in the right place for the overnight bit to happen.

    7. What are the next goals you hope to achieve?
    I’m currently writing my third non-fiction book. That’s not something I imagined, but now that I’m doing it I’m happy with the way that it’s progressing, and I would like to see it published by the end of the year. And then maybe a novel.

    Writer and philosopher Alexandria Blaelock advocates embracing precious things like beauty, friendship and wisdom. Discover more at

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    TUESDAY TIP: How to improve your productivity when working from home

    Working from home isn’t always as great as it sounds. It can be isolating and challenging to remain disciplined. This week founder of menswear brand Tophat London, Andy Kitt shares his advice on boosting productivity when working from home… 

    “Occasionally I work from home and I was realising that my productivity was terrible. So, I started to mentally and physically replicate the office environment as much as possible. Firstly, I clear my desk of anything that’s not relevant to what I am currently working on. Secondly, it is important for me to wear a suit and shoes rather than just rolling out of bed and sitting at my desk in a t-shirt and jogging bottoms. This increases my productivity and also improves the perceived level of professionalism when speaking to people on the phone and even emailing. Lastly, I always take an hour break for lunch and leave the house. This leaves me refreshed for the second half of the day. 

    Thanks to Andy for sharing this this advice. Andy Kitt is the Founder of transparent, slow fashion menswear brand, Tophat London. Check out Tophat’s cool product range here:

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    Only while stocks last. 

    Alife Design believes that “design is very similar to dating”. Their theory stems from “carefully watching people’s lives” and endeavouring “to make our lives more enriched and enjoyable by contemplating hidden needs from various movements and implementing something sophisticated to satisfy the needs”.
    It’s this attention to detail that makes us love Alife Design so much. Their quirky products stylishly meet our lifestyle requirements, whilst offering quality and value for money.

    Inspiring People: Vicky Jones, The Element Coach

    Vicky Jones’ path to success has by no means been a smooth one. In fact, it was a family tragedy that made her stop to reevaluate and focus on what meant the most to her in life. This resulted in Vicky leaving a 15 year media career to establish her own business. Here’s what happened…

    1. Tell us your story:
    My name is Vicky, I’m a 38 year old single mother & business owner. Born in Wales, UK – I graduated from Oxford Brookes University, England & have lived in Sydney since 2003. Through hard work & dedicated study I have swapped my career of 15 years in the media industry in London & Sydney to establish my own thriving coaching business. I’m now following my passion to inspire and empower individuals to be the best version of themselves they can be.

    2. How did you identify the goal/s you wanted to achieve?
    My journey to become a life coach started with a tragedy when my oldest brother passed away from an accidental overdose in 2010. I was utterly devastated by his passing and embarked on a path of destructive avoidance strategies to try and cope with my loss.

    Despite the pain, grief and suffering my family has endured, it is comforting to know that the passing of my brother has changed my life forever and looking back at the dots, I would never have embarked on such a massive life and career change if it had not been for seeking out a life coach as a way over overcoming my own destructive behaviours. It was through researching life coaching that I decided it was the perfect career for me. I was able to use my passion for human behaviour, my degree in biology and fascination with quantum physics to use this career as the perfect vehicle to channel my desire to help people.

    When I started my coaching journey one of the first things I did was to write a vision statement and create a vision board. Within 11 months everything I once dreamed of had manifested. I am living the exact life I had written about including being able to leave my job of 8 years and set up my own business. I now have more time to spend with my daughter and three weeks ago I was able to attend a school trip as a parent helper – something I would never have been able to do 3 years ago.

    A vision board is super powerful if you are really clear on what you want. Creating your own treasure map or ‘vision board’ allows the information filtering system of the brain known as the reticular activating system (RAS) to filter all the incoming information that your brain receives and it also acts as receiver for information that is tagged as important. We all have automatic ‘tags’, for example your name. We have all been in a situation when you are able to pick up your name being mentioned in a conversation on the other side of a room while talking to others. Similarly if you are thinking about buying a particular car or going to a specific holiday destination you are more tuned into any stimuli on that topic whether it’s a conversation, advertisement, article etc. Suddenly you see those cars everywhere you go and lots of people are ‘coincidentally’ also talking about that same trip. Nothing has actually changed you have just zeroed in on those subjects.

    The process of creating a vision board is one of the best ways to program the RAS. It focuses your transmitter to pay attention to certain things in your environment that are in frequency with your goal or vision. This selective attention filter makes you aware of daily things that can help you achieve your goal and it’s your job to take action on those opportunities when they present themselves.

    One of the first exercises I was encouraged to do as I studied coaching was to design your ‘ideal average day’. If you don’t know where you’re going, you will never arrive. Success means holding to a vision of what you want. Just saying ‘I have an idea’ isn’t going to make anything happen. You have to be specific and intentional about what you want. Without a vision to pull you into the future, you’re likely to keep reverting to the past.

    3. How did you work towards achieving your goal – did you have a plan and a deadline to achieve your goals? 
    As part of my study program we are given the best tools for how to set & achieve your goals including creating 5 year, 2 year, 12 month, 90 day, monthly, weekly & daily goals. The most important part of goal setting is knowing your big why. For me, being able to give my daughter the best life I can and being able to spend quality time with her and be the best role model I can be drives me forwards every day. 
    I have my vision board in front of my desk so every day I am reminded of everything I want to achieve. If you have a big enough “why” you will overcome any “how”. 

    4. What was the biggest challenge you encountered along the way?
    As a single mum without any family in Australia it was a challenge to travel to Melbourne for study purposes, plus I still had to work full time. Thank goodness for good friends that helped me look after my daughter.

    I would have to work on my business every night after I put my daughter to bed. In January 2016, after two years of dedicated study I was able to leave my job to go out on my own.

    5. What inspires you and keeps you going when you encounter obstacles?
    Being on this path and now being able to share my passion with the world through my coaching helps me with the loss of my brother. Knowing that he is with me on this journey, that he is the reason I can overcome any fear and keep driving forwards every day. I talk about him in a lot of my workshops when I describe how I got onto this path.

    6. What advice do you have for anyone wanting to achieve a goal?
    1. Know your WHY
    Why do you want to achieve your goal, what will it give you? The more emotion you feel when you think about your goals; the more likely you will follow through & overcome any hurdle. 

    2. Crystallise your vision 
    Know what you want with crystal clear clarity 

    3. Set specific SMART goals 
    90 day, 60 day, monthly, weekly & daily. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.  

    4. Tune in
    I recommend creating a physical vision board – what better way to visualise your vision than to see it?

    5. Believe 
    You must believe you can have the life or goal you desire. If you don’t believe it, it won’t happen. 

    7. What are the next goals you hope to achieve?
    Here are 3 of my biggest goal for the next 5 years:
    • I want to be financially free by the time I’m 45 – I have 7 years to achieve this and have mapped out my plan with specific financial benchmarks to hit to ensure I stay on track.
    • I want to run motivational workshops in Italy within the next 2 years.
    • I want to take my mum to South America to climb Machu picchu in October 2017 (we have always talked about it but I have now set a date).

    Vicky is a transformational coach, mentor & speaker- she’s a passionate human being who knows firsthand how to achieve personal and professional success from the ground up, and it’s her mission to show others how to do the same.

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    TUESDAY TIP: Life-changing organisation tip – Track your time

    This week’s organisation tip comes from business mentor, Lorraine Pihiri, who advises:

    “Track your time! Spend a week writing down how your spend your time and see where it really goes. I guarantee you probably waste at least ten, if not 20 hours a week doing things that you shouldn’t be doing. It’s not until you get a reality check by writing it down that you will be able to really assess how your time is spent and make the changes to keep you on track to a more productive future.”

    Baby boomer specialist and business mentor Lorraine Pihiri help business owners over 50 who feel tired, worn out and dissatisfied with life find clarity, purpose and direction. Learn more about what Lorraine does here:

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