Lasagne for me is the ultimate comfort food, sure there are a few steps to getting it on the table but it is so worth it!! What you may know about me however is that I am not one for fancy techniques and with being a busy Mum I like to make things easy in the kitchen so I do cut a few corners that may offend the pure Lasagne fans out there! And of course there are much easier ways too but this is my favourite!
One of my biggest kitchen helpers is Watties Traditional Pasta Sauce – the Tomato & Herb flavour is a constant in my pantry. I use it for the base for ALL my mince meals whether it is spaghetti bolognaise, shepherds pie, tacos, lasagne, you name it! I can make it more or less saucy with the addition of water and cooking it down depending on what I am needing it for. The kids absolutely love the flavour, and since I never cook my mince with onion it provides a great flavour boost! I sometimes jazz it up with garlic or herbs depending on what I am making when I pop the oil in the pan. It is as simple as browning the mince in some oil, draining off the fat and juices once browned, adding a can of the pasta sauce, then half a can of water! Easy, do try it and let me know what you think!
My original Lasagne recipe that I used for years had tomato paste, sugar, whole canned tomatoes etc etc but using this one can has changed all that! Watties should pay me for the endorsement don’t you think lol!
So making a lasagne is 3 steps really, making the meat base, the lasagne or pasta and the cheese sauce. None of these are particularly hard but you can feel like a bit of a mutli tasker if you choose to have all 3 going at once – you can of course do one at a time so please make this however best fits your urge that day!
For the pasta I use what they call Wide Lasagne, you can of course use Lasagne Sheets but I prefer these even though they can be a bit fiddly, personal preference and all that! So please use and follow the instructions of the sheets if you prefer!
The cheese sauce is something I always make a heap of and make it super cheesy – this lasagne is not going to win any prizes for the healthiest thing on the table, so serve it with salad and call it even…….and garlic bread, don’t forget the garlic bread…….
Cheese sauce is not something to be scared of if you haven’t made it before, it really is quite easy, and there are lots of variations out there, mine is super simple, but stay on hand to keep stirring it so that it does not stick to the bottom.
If you are making this for guests I always recommend that you make it earlier in the day and reheat it – simply because if you are anything like me you will use all your pots, saucepans and spoons! You can appear to be super cool and collected if you get the cooking and assembly part out of the way well before people arrive! You can either cook it straight away to reheat, or pop the prepared lasagne in the fridge and cook 40 minutes before guests arrive. Up to you!
This recipe makes a good sized dish so feel free to halve it if you are just making for a couple.
Any questions let me know, tell me what you do differently with your lasagne?
- 1 Packet Wide Lasagne (500g) or Lasagne Sheets
- Boiling Water
- 1 Tablespoon Oil
- 1 teaspoon Crushed Garlic
- 1 teaspoon Mixed Herbs
- 800 grams Beef Mince
- 150 grams Mushrooms (Optional)
- 1 Can Watties Pasta Sauce (I use Tomato & Herb Flavour)
- ½ Can of Water
- 60 Grams Butter
- 60 Grams Plain Flour
- 3 Cups Milk
- 2 Cups Grated Cheese (Strong Cheese, I use Tasty)
- Salt & Pepper
- ½ - 1 Cup Grated Cheese (I use Tasty)
- Cook your pasta as per packet instructions until al dente - run under cold water once done and set aside.
- Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and heat the oil, add the garlic and herbs and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the mince and breaking up the mince brown until all the meat is cooked through.
- Carefully drain off any excess liquid & fat.
- Add the pasta sauce and half a can of water to rinse out the can to the browned minced.
- Stir carefully to fully combine
- If using mushrooms add the cleaned and sliced mushrooms to the meat mixture.
- Simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes or until the liquid has reduced, stirring often to avoid burning.
- Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to use.
- In a small saucepan add the butter and melt completely over a low heat.
- Add the flour to the melted butter and mix well.
- Allow this mixture to slightly change colour and begin to bubble.
- Remove from the heat.
- Add the milk, half a cup at a time, whisking well between each addition to ensure no lumps.
- Once completely incorporated put back on the low-medium heat and allow the sauce to thicken, stirring often to ensure it does not catch.
- Once the sauce is thick and silky remove from the heat, approximately 5-8 minutes
- Add the cheese and whisk well then season with salt & pepper (just a few dashes of each)
- Set aside until ready to assemble the dish.
- In a large dish or casserole pan lay a single layer of the drained lasagne or pasta
- Spoon on half the mince mixture over the top and spread evenly, careful not to disturb the pasta too much.
- Spoon on half the cheese sauce and spread evenly
- Add the next portion of lasagne or pasta, in a single layer completely covering the cheese sauce.
- Then repeat with the other half of the mince mixture, and finishing with a generous covering of the cheese sauce
- Add the final portion of grated cheese to the top of the Lasagne.
- Into a preheated oven of 210C cook the Lasagne until Golden Brown - approximately 25-30 minutes.
- Serve the Lasagne hot with a green salad and garlic bread for a delicious meal!
- Will freeze well. Simply allow to cool in the fridge, then slice into portion sizes and pop into ziplock bags or airtight containers and freeze. Allow to thaw in the fridge and reheat until piping hot when ready to serve.
So yes I realise the recipe looks quite long and involved, but choose a day where you have plenty of time and enjoy the art of cooking, checking, stirring, smelling and tasting! It will be so worth it in the end 😀
If you have any questions or want to follow what we do a Just a Mum pop over to our Facebook Page and Like us for lots more lovely stuff! Also while you are here feel free to subscribe to our email list to be the first to receive our recipes as I publish them.
Thank you so much for stopping by.