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.
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