This is Julie Goodwin’s Lasagne recipe. Perfect for entertaining, you can make the lasagne well ahead of time. Then, when friends arrive for dinner, all you have to do is heat it up, add a salad and garlic bread and open the wine.
INGREDIENTS (Serves 10)
BOLOGNESE SAUCE INGREDIENTS
1 tsp olive oil
2 brown onions
4 cloves garlic
1 kg beef mince
2 x 810g tins crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
BOLOGNESE SAUCE METHOD
In a large non-stick frying pan, heat olive oil over a medium heat. Add garlic and onion and stir until soft but not brown. Add mince to the pan and brown. Using a wooden spoon, make sure you get rid of any lumps in the mince. Add sugar and salt. Transfer to a slow cooker. Simmer covered on the high setting for 2 hours, then uncover and cook for a further 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. The sauce initially appears quite runny and not a very rich colour. As it cooks and reduces, it achieves a thick consistency and a beautiful red colour. You will know when it’s ready – it becomes very aromatic.
To do the recipe on the stove top is equally effective but you need to be a lot more vigilant to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pot. Keep it over a very low heat uncovered, and stir it frequently for around 2 hours.
CHEESE SAUCE INGREDIENTS
50 g butter
3 ½ cups (875 ml) milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
200g tasty cheese, grated
Salt and pepper
CHEESE SAUCE METHOD
In a large pot, melt butter and add flour over medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until it gathers into a dough. Continue to stir for another minute or so. This begins to cook the flour.
Add a little milk – about ¼ cup. This will incorporate fairly quickly into the dough and will once again come away from the sides of the pan. Once this happens you can add another ¼ cup milk and repeat until all the milk has been added. Stir in mustard, then add cheese and stir until it melts. Taste and season with salt and pepper if required.
500g packet fresh lasagne sheets
250g grated tasty cheese
Preheat oven to 180°/160˚C fan-forced
Ladle Bolognese sauce over the base of a large oblong casserole dish. There needs to be enough to cover the base but keep it a thin layer (about 5mm). Over this, lay some fresh lasagne sheets.
Ladle more Bolognese sauce over the pasta then ladle cheese sauce on top of that. Carefully spread the cheese sauce to cover the meat.
Scatter a small handful of tasty cheese over this.
Place another layer of pasta on top and repeat the Bolognese and cheese sauces, and scatter another handful of cheese.
Place another layer of pasta, then ladle remaining cheese sauce over the top. Generously cover this with the rest of the cheese.
Bake for 45 minutes covered with foil, and a further 15 minutes uncovered or until golden brown and bubbling on top.
Serve with parmesan cheese, a beautiful fresh green salad and garlic bread.
Note: This reheats beautifully, and is one of the few pasta dishes that freezes and defrosts well.