Nothing like a thick, rich & meaty sauce followed by layers of pasta (and my secret ingredient) layers of silky eggplant sandwiched with creamy cheese sauce.
This ones on rotation in the household, it’s a tried & true favourite which comes back again and again! It’s the kind of dish that for us, says Hello Weekend! Hello Lasagne!
500g Beef mince
1 brown onion, diced
2 star anise buds,
3 large flat mushrooms
3 med carrots, peeled & grated,
Few garlic cloves (crushed or grated)
2 bay leaves,
3 fresh Roma tomatoes
750ml Tomato Passata,
Salt & pepper,
Tbsp of sugar
1/4 cup of red wine
Heaped Tbsp of flour,
250ml of milk,
good handful of shredded Parmesan.
Parmesan cheese, Mozarella & lasagne sheets,
1 large Eggplant sliced (optional,)
You’ll also need a couple of frying pans/saucepan and baking tin for the Lasagne, (or some ceramic bowls if you prefer to portion the pasta individually.)
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F)
Sauté the onions and mince in olive oil over a high heat. You can also add some salt too, (I do this to stop the onions from colouring up too much)
Add the star anise buds, Grated carrots & Chopped mushrooms,
Time to fish out the star anise buds, you can throw them away at this point.
I add the garlic and bay leaves at this latter stage (to save the garlic from burning) some chopped Roma tomatoes, the passata and red wine. Simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce thickens up (add some sugar & pepper if you like to adjust the seasonings)
At this point you can start the cheese sauce too. Melt the butter in a wide pan. Add the flour and mix into a thick paste, slowly add the milk stirring vigorously until a smooth sauce forms. Lastly, add a good handful of fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
To assembler the lasagne layer the sauce first, followed by the pasta sheet and top with some mozarella as you form the layers, (remove the bay leaves at this stage too)
I also like a slice of eggplant between each layer for (some extra nutrition) and it adds a silky layer between each bite too,
Bake in the oven for 30-35 mins. I turn the oven off for the last 15 minutes to rest the dish inside and like to pour a nice glass of merlot whilst I wait…