Here at The Madhouse, we love lasagne almost as much as Garfield, so when Flora got in touch and asked us to try out their Easy Lasagne recipe, I jumped at the chance. In the past, I've got a bit creative and made different types of lasagne, including creamy leek & bacon lasagne, spicy sausage and Mediterranean veg lasagne, potato & courgette lasagne and goat's cheese, pesto & tomato lasagne, so it was nice to go back to the traditional, classic lasagne recipe. Here's the picture of the lasagne from Flora website at the top of the page - would mine come out just as well ? Well, I'll let you judge for yourselves ! This is my version.
Here's the recipe I followed, if you want to give it a try too.
350 g (12oz) lean beef mince (10% fat)
1 Large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 Large clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 Knorr Beef Stock Cube
600 g tinned chopped tomatoes
2–3 tbsp tomato puree
handful of fresh chopped herbs
Good pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 glass red wine (125ml)
175 g (6oz) lasagna sheets
425 ml (¾ pint) semi-skimmed milk
1 Small onion and carrot
2 tbsp Flora Cuisine
25 g flour
40 g (1½oz) Parmesan cheese , grated
Preheat oven to moderate 170°C (fan assisted), 350°F, gas mark 4.
Place mince, onion and garlic in a pan and fry, stirring until the beef is browned. Crumble in the Knorr cube and stir in. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, herbs, pepper and wine. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (I always like to add lots of extra veggies so I added carrots, mushrooms and red pepper.)
Meanwhile, cook the lasagne in boiling salted water for 10–15 minutes, until just soft. Drain and rinse in cold water. (My lasagne sheets didn't need precooking but I still prefer to let them soak in boiling water for 5 minutes - it avoids hard, uncooked pasta and makes the sheets easier to cut to size without breaking.)
For the sauce, bring the milk to the boil with the onion, carrot and bay leaf. Take off the heat and leave to infuse for 10–15 minutes. Strain the milk and place back in the pan with the Flora Cuisine and flour. Stirring constantly, bring to the boil and simmer for 2–3 minutes until thickened and smooth.
In an ovenproof dish, layer the meat mixture, lasagne and sauce ending with the sauce and sprinkle with the cheese. (I used a mixture of parmesan and mozzarella for a really gooey cheese topping.)
Cook in preheated oven for 30–40 minutes.
This is very similar to my usual lasagne recipe but there are a couple of tweaks that I wanted to try. I'm not sure the onion, carrot and bay leaf added much to the bechamel sauce, but the addition of red wine and beef stock to the meat is a definite improvement, making a richer sauce. I usually use butter and wondered if the bechamel would be less thick or rich with Flora - I couldn't tell the difference so that's a simple way of knocking a few grams of fat and calories off my usual recipe. Verdict from the Madhouse family ? A unanimous cry of "is there any left ?" !
Other blogposts you may be interested in :