Friday, August 19, 2011

Classic Lasagna with a Side of Roasted Vegetables

I think this is perfect for an indulgent and filling weeknight meal. For me, indulgent weeknight meals are those which COOK ON THEIR OWN! Where you have to let something simmer for 45 minutes, let it bake for an hour... roast it for two.. That way you've cooked, you have a good meal, and you have time to do other things while it cooks on its own.

The following is a classic lasagna served with roasted potatoes and carrots a la herb (yeah I invented that last bit).

I love the messy, splattered effect you get when you bake something big like this. Such a homey feel.
Classic Lasagna

2 tablespoons oil
30g butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
500g lamb mince
2 tablespoons tomato paste
400g can diced tomatoes
250ml cranberry juice
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
One packet instant lasagna sheets
60g butter
40g plain flour
560ml milk
100g grated Parmesan cheese

-Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based pan and cook the onion, carrot, and celery over medium heat until softened, stirring constantly. Increase the heat, add the mince and brown well, breaking up any lumps of fat. Add the tomato paste, can tomatoes, juice, and parsley and season to taste. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
- To make the bechamel sauce, melt the butter in a medium pan over low heat. Add the flour and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat and gradually stir in the milk. Return to heat and stir constantly until the sauce boils and thickens. Simmer for another minute. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste. Place a piece of plastic wrap on surface of sauce.
-Preheat the oven to 180C.
-Take a large, ovenproof dish and place a thin layer of the meat mixture over the base, top with bechamel sauce and layer the lasagna sheets over that. Repeat the process until all the ingredients have been used up and the final layer is bechamel.
-Spread the grated Parmesan cheese on top and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes until top is golden and cheese has melted.

Roasted Potatoes and Carrots with Fresh and Dried Herbs

2tbsp olive oil
Two medium potatoes, roughly chopped
Two medium carrots, cut into chunks
30g butter
Salt and pepper
1tbsp mixed dried herbs such as basil and chives.
2tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped

Grease an overproof dish with half the olive oil.
Arrange the cut potato and carrot chunks onto the dish and drizzle with remaining olive oil.
Cut the butter into chunks and scatter around the dish.
Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with dried herbs.
Bake in an 180C oven for one hour or until vegetables have softened and cooked through.
Before serving, scatter coriander over dish.


  1. Oh wow! The whole meal looks so good and homely!

  2. YUM. I cant wait to try this out someday!

  3. Yes, that's the best thing about these sort of dishes - pop into the oven and get on with something else then some back to a delicious dinner! Beautiful!

  4. Oh! It is almost the time of year when a meal like this will be so warm and comforting! Delicious! I'm going to bookmark this post, as I'm curious about using the cranberry juice and lamb mince with the tomato sauce! Sounds like a touch of sweetness and a less fatty meat addition! Inspired!

  5. This really looks delicious. I've put your recipe aside to make when the weather gets cooler.I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  6. Mmmm, this's delicious! I enjoy lasagna, a lot, but the notion of a homemade one somehow intimidates me..!

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