This is one of my most favourite things to make. The most satisfying part is when it comes out of the oven and the cheese is bubbling and the smell of the rich bolognaise and béchamel sauce takes over and your mouth starts to water and now I'm getting hungry just talking about it.
By not overloading each layer, when you cut your lasagna it won't fall apart.
I always serve mine with honey roasted pumpkin and a simple salad. Feel free to do roast kumera, mashed potatoes... whatever you want!
NOTE - the quantities for this recipe make a really large lasagne, if you don't need this much just halve the recipe and what you don't eat can be put in the freezer.
6 tbsp olive oil
900 g beef mince
3 onions, finely diced
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 large glass of white or red wine
1/2 c chicken stock
3 tins tomatoes, pureed
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 c milk
80 g butter
80 g plain flour
Nutmeg, freshly ground
200 g fontina cheese (optional)
Two large bags of spinach
300 g lasagna sheets
1/2 c parmesan, grated
1/2 c gruyere, grated
1/2 c aged cheddar, grated
Honey Roasted Pumpkin
2 c pumpkin, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepperB
Heat half the oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat.
Brown mince in batches. Set aside
Add the remaining olive oil and add the onions. Cook till translucent.
Stir in the tomato paste until everything is covered. Turn the heat up high and add the wine, stirring until the liquid has dissolved, then add the chicken stock and turn the heat down to medium.
Pour in the pureed tomatoes and garlic.
Stir and bring to the boil.
Add meat, reduce heat. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Season to taste.S
Heat milk in a small saucepan. Do not bring to the boil
In a medium sauce pan melt butter over a low heat. Add the flour and stir till combined. Cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly.
Slowly pour the milk into the butter and flour. Beat well after each addition so you remove all the lumps. I find that by making a paste first is the easiest, then incorporating the milk is a breeze.
Once all the milk is in and there are no lumps to be found, bring to the boil and stir constantly. This is to thicken the sauce.
Turn heat down, grate in a decent pinch of nutmeg and give it a good stir. Add the fontina if desired.
Remove from heat once cheese has melted.
For the spinach, cut the ends off and place in a pot of boiling water. Strain and chop up once cooked.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Its time too arrange. Place a thin layer of bolognaise on the base of the dish then cover with the lasagne sheets. Try to avoid overlapping.
Next another layer of bolognaise and a few good spoonfuls of béchamel sauce. Gently spread the sauce over the meat. It doesn't need to be completely covered or look perfect.
Dot the spinach on top and carefully spread out.
Repeat process until you reach the top.
On the final layer only spread béchamel sauce and spinach.
Sprinkle over the grated cheeses and cover dish in tin foil.
Cook for 40 minutes in a fan forced oven, remove foil and cook a further 15 minutes or until top is golden brown.P
Toss all ingredients in a bowl and place in a roasting dish. Cover with foil and cook for 35 - 40 minutes or until caramelised. It helps if you can take out the pumpkin and toss every so often but no necessary.
Serve with a simple salad and big glass of red or a cold beer. Enjoy!