Like my last blog entry, it’s more Lasagne. However, this time I am doing the “meat” version using beef and pork mince. I also used a different Hov’s Kitchen sauce as I am not a fan of olives at all! I could probably write a whole blog on how much I despise olives, but I think you get the gist .. No olives for this chick which people do find a bit weird since I grew up in an European household.
Lasagne is one of the kids favourites, I’ve been making this dish since I was a teenager. I used to make the pasta sheets from scratch, but these days I don’t have the time to do that and I’m sure a lot of working mum’s and dad’s out there don’t either. Last thing you want to be doing when you get home from working all day is make fresh pasta. If you can be bothered though, it does taste a million times better than the store bought sheets and it’s an accomplishment to make a whole dish from scratch.
I use a combination of 250g of beef mince and 250g of pork mince, traditionally of course bolognaise was made with pork but somewhere along the way we started using beef instead. Beef mince is less expensive than pork and it’s also easier to get these days. Up to you what you use, either a combination or all beef or all pork. Either way, lasagne still tastes great.
If you read my last entry, you know the Bechamel sauce is pretty much the star of the dish, and it needs to be done properly, so the flavours really pop. Please don’t just make a roux and add warm milk and whisk. Yes, doing it that way, you will make a creamy sauce but the flavours just aren’t there. Just take the extra 20 minutes, it’s worth it. Make up the milk mixture first and then while it’s resting and the flavours are absorbing, you make the meat mixture.
Let’s put this baby together ..
So, make the milk mixture first. Warm the milk with chopped onion, garlic, cloves, nutmeg and bay leaves. Once the milk has warmed, set it aside for 20 minutes and then discard the solids and put the milk into a pourable jug.
Whilst the milk mixture is resting, get your ingredients together to make the sauce. By the time you have made the meat sauce using Hov’s Kitchen’s Napoli Sauce, the milk mixture will be now ready to make the bechamel – once that is made, put cling wrap on top of it so it doesn’t form a skin.
Add a bit of the meat sauce to the bottom of the lasagne dish, then add the pasta sheets. More meat sauce, making sure it has covered all the lasagne sheets, then pour a good portion of bechamel sauce over that. Next, I add shredded cheese, then spinach. Repeat until you have run out of meat sauce.
Once you have reached the top, cover with the rest of the bechamel sauce and add a good portion of shredded cheese. Cover with baking paper and then foil on top of that. Don’t put the foil straight over the cheese, as the cheese will stick to the foil. Then pop it in the oven for about 40-45 minutes. Take it out and take the foil and baking paper off, put it back in the oven for a further 10 minutes or under the grill so the cheese melts and browns.
Serve with a side salad or chips, or even just on it’s own is good enough.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 500 gr minced beef or pork I use a combination of both
- 1 zucchini diced
- 1 red capsicum diced
- 1 Brown onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- 1 Jar Hov’s Napoli Sauce
- 1 packet Lasagne sheets
- 200 grams baby spinach
- 2 cups shredded cheese
- 4 cups Milk
- 4 tbs plain flour
- 4 tbs butter chopped
- 1 onion Roughly chopped
- 1 tsp Cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- salt and pepper
- Heat oil in sauce pan and turn the oven on to 180C
- Add onions, garlic and capsicum. Cook on a medium heat until softened.
- Add the mince meat (beef or pork) and cook until the mince has browned
- Add Hov’s Napoli sauce and simmer for around 15 minutes until it has reduced .
- Put aside and make the béchamel
- Heat the milk in a small pot on medium heat, add the roughly chopped onions, garlic, cloves, bay leaves and nutmeg. Once the milk starts to scold, take it off the heat and let it rest for 20 minutes so the flavours combine.
- Sieve the milk into a large jug and discard the solids.
- In a medium sized pot, heat the butter
- then add the flour and make a roux – whisk until combined
- Add the milk whilst whisking a little bit at a time. Until the milk has all gone, and you have a nice thick béchamel sauce.
- Add a bit of salt and pepper
- Put the béchamel into a jug and put cling wrap over it, so it doesn’t skin.
- In a heatproof lasagne dish, put a little bit of the sauce on the bottom, then add lasagne sheets
- Add some of the mince on top of the sheets, then some baby spinach, then a bit of the béchamel sauce, then some shredded cheese.
- Repeat with how many layers of lasagne you want. I usually do 3 -4
- On the top, add the rest of the béchamel sauce, then shredded cheese.
- Cover with baking paper and then foil on top of that (Don’t put the foil directly on top of the cheese as the cheese will get stuck to it)
- Cook in the oven for 45 – 50 minutes or until the pasta is soft.
- Take the foil and baking paper off, and then put it back in the oven for around 5 minutes or until the cheese has browned.