Sunday, March 27, 2011

Easy lasagne

There's not much in life that I love more than a good lasagne. That said, I don't much care for the laborious process traditionally involved with creating this Italian comfort food. I was therefore thrilled when my good Swiwi (that's half Swedish, half Kiwi) friend, Jo (who you can find blogging here) provided me with this easy recipe. She was initially dismayed that I tweaked it to include meat (my excuse: I live with a carnivorous male!), but I think she'll forgive me. I've made this lasagne a number of times since the recipe was exchanged and cannot rate it more highly for simplicity and taste. 

Easy lasagne
Serves 6-8
A splash of olive oil
1 onion
500g beef mince
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 heaped teaspoon of hot paprika (optional)
2-3 carrots
2 zucchinis
1 can crushed/chopped tomatoes
200ml crème fraîche
250g frozen spinach - defrosted
50g feta (not pictured below)
1 pkt lasagne sheets
2 generous handfuls of grated cheese
3 tbls milk
About two hours prior to cooking, remove spinach from freezer and set aside to defrost.
Pre-heat oven to 210°C. 
Fry up onion and garlic in a couple of splashes of olive oil. 
Add and brown beef mince, as well as the *secret* ingredient for those who like their lasagne with a little kick - paprika. 
At this stage, I should probably shout out to Nagambie Gold olive oil and Oasis Bakery (provider of this paprika) - both of which are excellent local Victorian companies, whose products I use on a near daily basis. 

I digress! Next add the chopped carrots and zucchini. Your pot should now look something like this:
Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and allow to bubble away on the stove top for around 10 minutes, at which time the carrots should be beginning to soften, but shouldn't be mushy (after all, it's going to be cooked in the oven later on). 
Now is a good time to squeeze the excess liquid from the defrosted spinach.
Add crème fraîche, stir through and remove pot from heat. 
The crème fraîche is truly the star of this lasagne - it negates the need for making a béchamel sauce and provides a beautifully intensive creaminess to the dish. 
Now it's time to layer it up!
Repeat until all meat sauce is used (I make three layers of meat with these quantities).
It's now time for the beast to be baked (at around 210°C for 30 minutes). If your oven is anything like mine (i.e. pathetic!) you'll need to stick the lasagne under the griller for a couple of minutes to nicely crisp and brown the top. 

Et voilà! My easy lasagne is done!
Serve piping hot (check out that steam!)...
...and enjoy the oozy creamy goodness of lasagne in less than an hour - stellar!


  1. Oh wow... that looks absolutely delicious!!! I am so going to make that when we come back from holiday. Yummy!!!

    Ah, someone has been shopping at Oasis bakery. It is such an awesome place! I don't live so far from it but have been there only twice.. need to go again soon!

  2. Yeah - it's super easy and relatively healthy given the lack of bechemel...
    Oasis is brilliant! I've been going regularly for years and years. I have to admit that the store has become more expensive since their renovation, but the range of delicious food is still sensational!

  3. Wow! You are an AMAZING cook my dear (or at least it looks that way!) Thank you for all of your encouraging words on my blog :)

  4. Thanks so much, Tiff! I wouldn't go as far as amazing, but I do love to experiment with flavours, that's for sure! :)
    I'm totally in awe of your journey, by the way - I have enjoyed your blog for so long now and am impressed in a BIG way! :)

  5. Um i am salivating reading this. will give it a crack this week i reckon!

  6. MM1 - you should totally come over for dinner and I'll make it for us...and Mon...and my beloved...let's make a date! :) x

  7. Done deal...or perhaps you might like to try my next mystery ice-cream starting with D...or E...or F... :)

  8. Z icecream! i want Z! oh wait...that means we wont do dinner until the 26th fortnight this year....that doesnt work! ;) They all sound fabbo so far....(although Mon doesnt do coffee so maybe not that one...) ahhh i'm excited!