Batch cooking is a wonderful thing. It’s how I survive at university. The more food I can make in one go, the less effort I have to expend cooking over the next week which is ideal as the term starts to get harder. Like the majority of the recipes in my Cooking to Basics section, this lasagne a number of meals (depending on how hungry you are)! It’s very simple to make and even better, if you happen to have some bolognaise sauce in the freeze, you don’t even need to go to the effort of making the filling.
This is not a traditional lasagne. For a start, there is no béchamel sauce. This isn’t out of convenience, I just don’t particularly like it as I find that the lasagne ends up rather sloppy with a béchamel sauce and I don’t really like super sloppy foods. Instead, I have replaced it with a thin layer of seasoned tomato puree which does the trick very well and also reduces the time it takes to make the dish. Of course, should you really like béchamel sauce, you can just substitute this in instead of the half tube of tomato paste in the recipe. The lack of the béchamel sauce also makes it very easy to turn this recipe dairy free as you can simply substitute the mozzarella with a dairy free cheese (or even just leave it naked with the tomato on top)
If you are vegetarian, it is very simple to just substitute the beef for some form of soya mince or you can bulk out the sauce with mushrooms and other veg of your choice to make a wonderful veggie lasagne. I will often put a layer of spinach in mine as if I am using pre-made bolognaise sauce for the filling, it reduces the amount I need to defrost!
Prep time: 30 minutes, Cook time: 45 minutes (excluding the filling)
Serves: 4-6 Cost per portion: around 80p-£1
250ml tomato passata
2 cloves of garlic
One large onion (or two small onions)
One box beef mince
One box lasagne sheets
Half a tube of tomato paste
A glug of sherry or red wine
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Follow the instructions of my bolognaise recipe to make the filling of the lasagne.
Lightly oil a deep dish.
Place a layer of the lasagne sheets over the bottom and add a thin layer of the filling.
Repeat this, alternating layers of the filling and pasta sheets until there is about 1 cm from the top of the dish (make sure the top layer is the pasta).
Dilute the tomato paste down with water until it is still thick but you can spread it over the top of the lasagne (at this point, you can add pepper, chilli, garlic, or whatever spices you would like on your lasagne).
Grate the mozzarella and sprinkle and even layer over the top of the dish.
Bake at gas mark 5 (1900C) for about 45 minutes to make sure the pasta sheets are cooked!
The lasagne freezes really well which is ideal if you just want a quick meal slightly later in the week. Just wrap up individual portions and pop them into the freezer!
Let me know if you try this at home – give me a tag on Instagram (you can find me @thatcookingthing). If you fancy trying out some lovely warming, soup as the weather gets colder, check out my butternut squash soup or if you are looking of a quick and easy dessert, my tiramisu would be perfect for you!
Have a good one and I’ll see you next week with a recipe for millionaire’s shortbread!