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Easy "Lasagna"

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Hello Dear Reader,

I came up with this recipe as a way of addressing my love of eating Lasagna without the time heavy assembly job it requires. It is basically the same ingredients-beef mince, tomato pasta sauce, béchamel sauce and pasta. It is super easy in both time and effort and a lovely, comforting, delicious dish. I am sure I have no right in calling this Easy "Lasagna" as there isn't a Lasagna sheet in sight!

Ingredients for Easy "Lasagna"-500 grams lean beef mince, 1 jar of your favourite pasta sauce (I just use what ever is on special), 500 grams mushrooms, 2 garlic cloves, 40 grams butter, 2 cups milk, 40 grams plain flour, 1 cup grated cheese, 250 grams penne pasta. 
The baking dish I use measures 32 cm x 22 cm x 6.5 cm and fits this recipe beautifully 

To make the Béchamel - Melt butter, in a saucepan, on medium heat 

Add flour 

And mix well, I always use a whisk. "Cook" flour and butter mixture on medium heat, for 1 minute, stirring the whole time 

Take "Roux" off heat and add milk, stirring the whole time. It helps if you warm the milk a little before adding it to the roux. It won't "seize" as much if they are of similar temperatures 

Put saucepan back on medium heat and continue to whisk until thick and super smooth 

Add grated cheese 

And let melt and mix into the white sauce. Take off heat, cover and set aside until needed 

For the meat sauce - Slice mushrooms into chunky slices 

Add mushrooms to a hot, heavy based frypan and sauté until lightly browned, remove mushroom from pan and set aside 

Now, add mince to hot pan and brown, breaking it up as you do 

Add grated garlic and mix in, continue to cook mince until well browned and cooked through 

Return mushrooms to pan with the mince. Add jar of pasta sauce and let bubble away until reduced and thick. I always rinse out the jar of pasta sauce with about 1/4 of a cup of red wine or port and add this to the meat and mushroom mixture. 

Cook pasta, according to packet directions, drain well and add to reduced and thickened meat and mushroom mixture 

Mix well, until combined 

In a baking dish, add meat and mushroom mixture, then spoon over béchamel, until mince is totally covered. Just take your time when doing this, there will be enough béchamel, honestly 

Grate over about 1/4 of a cup of Parmesan cheese and bake at 160 C for 40 minutes

So, tell me, what is your "easy way" of making "Lasagna"? 

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