On Thursday night our friend Mat came over and so I cooked a lasagne for the three of us. I do love a bit of lasagne and it’s an easy and delicious dish to do. It’s particularly good if you’re cooking for 3 or 4 people. It’s also one of the (few) dishes that I cook a lot that my Mum and Dad really like. (although I do have to leave the garlic out when I cook it for them!) so I always cook up a batch when I go home to Devon. I cook it in an 11” x 8” ceramic dish which I find divides down nicely into four sizeable slices. (or you could cut it into 6 smaller servings.) I tend to make quite a rich lasagne, but hey – you might as well enjoy it! I always use a lot of tomato puree to give it a nice, rich, tomatoey flavour, Similarly good, flavoursome vine tomatoes are always best. And a nice strong cheddar and some cream for the white sauce.
500g beef mince
1 large red onion, roughly chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1 leek, sliced
½ courgette, sliced
300g vine tomatoes, chopped
1 tube of tomato puree
125ml red wine
For the sauce:
2 teaspoons of butter
2 teaspoons of plain flour
150ml double cream
For the topping:
1 ball of mozzarella cut into slices
6 lasagne sheets
Preheat the oven to 180
Gently fry the onion and garlic in olive oil in a large saucepan.
Add the mince and fry until browned, breaking up the lumps with a wooden spoon to ensure even cooking.
Add the vegetables, tomatoes, tomato puree, and red wine and season well with mixed herbs, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. (I usually use a whole tube of tomato puree.)
Cook in the saucepan for 20 minutes or so until the vegetables are cooked and the sauce is rich and thick.
Whilst the meat and vegetables are cooking make the white sauce.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour and mix to a roux, stirring constantly.
Cook the roux for a minute or so. Once the roux is cooked add the liquid – first the cream and then the milk, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to ensure that there are no lumps.
Continue cooking, stirring all the time, for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens.
Layer half of the meat and vegetable mix on the bottom of your ceramic dish. Place three sheets of lasage on top.
Place six discs of mozzarella on top of the lasagne sheets.
Pour half of the white sauce over the lasagne and mozzarella.
Layer the other half of the meat and veg mix on top.
Top with lasagne sheets, mozzarella and, finally, white sauce as before.
Top with a generous amount of grated strong cheddar.
Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until golden and bubbling.
Cut into slices and serve with garlic bread and a little rocket.