Lasagne: A family favourite cooked from scratch
Vegetarian or mince, both are delicious and easy with my fool proof recipe I have developed here for my Coombe Mill Cuisine range.
A good food processor takes away hours of thankless chopping enabling you to make your own healthy sauce at a fraction of the cost of ready bought. It is also a great way to ensure children take their 5 a day without even realising it!
Carrots, Onions, Mushrooms and a couple of garlic cloves. I add veg in at least equal quantities to meat
Mince or pulses (I use red lentils with kidney beans or chick peas)
herbs: Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, parsley) paprika and cumin, black pepper, salt
Cheese sauce: Whole milk, plain flour, butter, seasoning, grated cheddar cheese
Topping: Grated cheddar and porridge oats
Brown the mince in a large casserole dish on the hob to burn off all the fat for about 20 - 30 minutes, for the vegetarian version simmer the pulses as per packet instructions. Red lentils take about 20 minutes. Tinned pulses like kidney beans can be added at the end.
Add the herbs and seasoning to taste and cook on a low heat for a further 2 minutes. I love the smell that comes off and the colour change as the herbs blend in with the mince or pulses.
Meanwhile place all the vegetables in a food processor and whiz to mince size pieces. Add the chopped vegetables and tinned tomatoes to the mince or pulses and simmer gently on a very low heat for about an hour and a half, this long slow cook ensures the meat is tender and the vegetables retain their taste and nutrition.
Make the cheese sauce by combining all the ingredients and stirring with a whisk over a gentle heat until it thickens.
If the sauce becomes too thick, just let it down with a little cold milk.
You are now ready to assemble the compnent parts into lasagne.
Begin with the meat / pulse at the base of the casserole dish, then place a layer of lasagne pasta followed by cheese sauce. Repeat finishing with cheese sauce.
Sprinkle porridge oats and grated cheese on the top for a delicious crunchy cheese topping and bake in the oven at 180degrees for 25 minutes or until the pasta is soft when a knife is inserted through the centre.
At this stage, I then cool and freeze the meals ready for our holiday guests to simply defrost and reheat in the microwave or the oven after a busy day on the farm or out at the beach. It is a classic dish which freezes well, so if you are making it at home I thoroughly recommend making it in large quantities and freezing one or two for another time.
If you like this recipe then do try one of the others under my "What's Cooking" category.