Friday, 16 December 2011

Lasagne - my version

This was the dish that won me my husband! 

It’s one of those dishes that I used to make on the weekend when I worked as it needs a long slow cooking, but provides plenty of freezable portions. 

I never consider making less than the following quantities, and usually have enough to make a lasagne for four serves, plus another three or four serves of sauce for the freezer. 

500g each minced beef and pork
1 big onion, peeled and chopped
A dash each of Worcestershire sauce and mushroom ketchup
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
About an ounce of dried porcini mushrooms soaked in ¼ pint boiling water
1 or 2 anchovies
2 400g tins of tomatoes *
* (if you can get hold of Dress tomato and basil sauce, replace one of the tins of tomatoes with one jar of this)
2 beef stock cubes
2tsp paprika
A small pinch of curry powder
2tsp dried oregano
7 or 8 medium mushrooms, peeled and sliced
A small bunch of fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Squeeze of tomato puree

Approximately 9 lasagne sheets (the exact number will depend on the size of dish you are using.

One tub of supermarket finest four cheese sauce.

Grated cheddar and parmesan cheese to finish

Peel and chop the onion and fry in a little olive oil (or some of the anchovy oil) for 10 minutes, until it turns a nice golden brown.  Add the chopped garlic and toss around in the pan for 5 minutes.  Add the anchovies and push around the pan with your wooden spoon until they ‘melt’. 

Add the minced beef and pork to the pan and break up with the wooden spoon. Brown over a medium heat until the meat is browned, the pan is dry and any liquid from the meat is evaporated. 

At the same time as the meat is browning, strain the soaked dried mushrooms, reserving the soaking water, and then chop fairly finely.   

Add the chopped soaked mushrooms, the Worcestershire sauce and mushroom ketchup to the meat and season with salt and pepper.  Add the paprika and pinch of curry powder and stir well.  Add the tinned tomatoes (and the jar of sauce if using, rinsing the jar out with the reserved water from the soaked mushrooms and add that to the pan).  Add the tomato puree, the dried oregano and crumble over the beef stock cubes.  Give everything a good stir and bring to a simmer.  Cover and either simmer on the hob for two hours, or cook in a low oven. 

After an hour, peel and slice the fresh mushrooms and add to the pan and stir in.  Cover and leave for the final hour. 

Immediately before serving, wash and tear the fresh basil leaves and add to the pan, giving it a good stir to distribute them throughout. 

To assemble the lasagne, first layer 3 sheets of pasta on the bottom of the dish and then top with some sauce.  Layer over a further 3 sheets of pasta and top with the same quantity of sauce again.  Layer over a further 3 sheets of pasta and top with the cheese sauce.  Finally, sprinkle over the grated cheese and pop into the oven until the cheese and sauce is bubbling. 

If you are making this ahead of time (and I usually do as it improves on keeping), allow the meat sauce to cool before adding the top layer of pasta and topping with the cheese sauce. Finally sprinkle over the grated cheeses and heat in the oven.  If cooking from hot it will only require 20 minutes or so, until the cheese is bubbling.  If re-heating from cold it will need 30 - 40 minutes.

The quantities given above have yielded eight serves: four portions of lasagne and a further four of sauce to serve with spaghetti – the ubiquitous spag bol!


  1. I can see how you won your guy over. That recipe looks amazing..You can tell you have put a lot of effort into it.He's a lucky guy!

    I never thought of putting curry or anchovies into a lasagna sauce..I bet it really has great flavor..Thanks so much for sharing..I love others views on putting together a lasagna..:)

  2. Thank you! I think the anchovies, paprika and tiny pinch of curry powder just add a richness of flavour to the dish.