Spinach lasagne

A rich beef lasagne with the added flavour of garlic, mushrooms and wilted spinach, this classic family dish is sure to be a hit. Serve with garlic bread and a green salad for the full retro experience.


Meat sauce
Cheese sauce


1.Two-thirds fill a large saucepan with salted water, add 2 teaspoons of oil, cover, bring to boil. When water is boiling rapidly, add one sheet of pasta, allow water to return to boil, wait about 2 minutes, then add another sheet of pasta. If saucepan is large enough, three sheets of pasta can be cooked at one time. It is important to add the pasta gradually and cook only up to three pieces at a time. The oil in the water will help prevent the water boiling over, and prevent pasta sticking together. Boil rapidly, uncovered for about 25 minutes, or until very tender. Have ready a large bowl of cold water to which 2 teaspoons of oil have been added. Carefully lift sheets of pasta from boiling water, lower into cold water. Replenish boiling water, if necessary, cook remaining pasta in same way. Grate cheddar cheese, mix with parmesan cheese. Place spinach in strainer to thaw.
2.For meat sauce, peel and finely chop onion, crush garlic, slice mushrooms finely. Place meat in heavy-based frying pan, stir with fork until meat is brown, drain off any excess fat. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms, cook until onion is transparent. Season with salt and pepper, add oregano, sugar and tomato puree. Bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer covered 45 minutes. Uncover, simmer until sauce is thick, about further 15 minutes.
3.For cheese sauce, melt butter, remove from heat, add flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg, blend until smooth. Return to heat, stir constantly for a few minutes. Remove from heat, gradually stir in milk, return to heat, stir constantly until sauce boils and thickens, reduce heat, cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in grated cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese, stir until cheeses melt.
4.Lightly grease a 28cm x 18cm (11 in. x 7in) lamington tin, place tin on oven tray for easier handling. Carefully lift two pieces of pasta from water, trim pasta so that the sheets fit crossways over base of the tin. Spread evenly with half the meat sauce, top with half the cheese sauce. Press as much liquid as possible from the thawed spinach, spread evenly over cheese sauce. Top with two more pieces of trimmed pasta sheets, spread with meat sauce then cheese sauce, top with remaining trimmed pasta sheets. Sprinkle top with combined cheeses, bake at 180°C for uncovered 20 minutes. Drizzle top evenly with cream, bake further 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Stand 10 minutes before serving.

You will need to buy a 375g packet of lasagne pasta, which contains about 14 sheets; only six sheets are needed for this recipe.


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