Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lasagne with Eggplant

This hearty lasagne is the epitomy of comfort eating. However, feel no guilt as it is also packed with vegetables and should easily serve a party of eight. Serve with a leafy green salad.

Suitable for 12mths+.

Lasagne with Eggplant
8 large instant dry lasagne sheets
1 eggplant, sliced into 1cm thick slices, lightly steamed (2min in microwave)
½ cup grated mozzarella
1 tbsp shredded parmesan

Meat sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red onion, finely chopped
950g extra lean beef mince
4 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (or to taste)
3 tsp brown sugar
4 tbsp tomato sauce
¼ tsp ground chilli
1 tbsp mixed dried herbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 carrot grated
1 green capsicum, finely diced
8-10 button mushrooms, sliced

White sauce
3 cups milk
4 tbsp plain flour
150g smooth ricotta
½ cup grated mozzarella
Cracked pepper (to taste)

Firstly, you need to prepare your meat sauce. After this, you will need to make a white sauce, and then you can layer your prepared ingredients at the end.
 Meat sauce:

1. Into a large saucepan, heat oil and lightly fry onion and garlic.

2. Add mince, stirring regularly until cooked through.

3. Add spices, herbs, sauces and sugar.

4. Add grated carrot, sliced mushroom and capsicum. Continue simmering until liquid has reduced (You should be able to see the bottom of the pan briefly as you drag spoon though meat).

5. Remove from heat and place to the side.
 White sauce:

6. In a measuring cup, combine flour with a small amount of milk. Whisk until it forms a smooth paste and then add remaining milk, whisking until it is lump-free and can be poured out into a small saucepan.

7. Add cracked pepper to taste.

8. Heat gently over a low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Do not allow to boil.

9. When sauce has thickened, remove from heat and add ricotta and grated cheese, stirring well until mixture is smooth.

10. Remove from heat and place to the side.
 Layer your prepared ingredients:
11. Start with a layer of 2 lasagne sheets
12. Pour in 1/3 of the meat sauce
13. Top with a layer of eggplant and a little white sauce

14. Lay down another 2 lasagne sheets

15. Pour in more meat sauce

16. Cover with eggplant and a little white sauce

17. Cover with a 3nd layer of 2 lasagne sheets

18. Top with meat and a little white sauce

19. Lay down a final layer of 2 lasagne sheets. Pour over the remaining white sauce. Ensure that all lasagne sheets are covered evenly.

20. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and shredded parmesan on top
 Bake in a hot oven (about 180°C) for approx 60min, or until top is nicely browned.

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