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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lasagna Recipe

This lasagna recipe was given to me by a lovely italian lady about 25 years ago. She always made her own pasta so if you have a pasta machine it is so much nicer to make your own lasagna sheets. If you do not possess one, then make sure you use really good packaged ones. I often use the fresh ones that you can find in the refrigerator section of the supermarket. I find them quite easy to work with. I never make the bechemel sauce as real italian recipes will not have it in there. I love the fresh tomato taste that hasn't been overshadowed by the rich white sauce. I also get the butcher to mince up either topside or rump steak for me when I make this dish.


500 - 750 g really good mince steak
1 large onion - finely chopped
2 - 3 thick slices of ham- chopped
2 cans of organic chopped tomatoes or bottled home made italian sauce
sea salt
black pepper
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
grated parmesan cheese
olive oil

Place the tomatoes in a medium size saucepan and stir over heat until starting to boil. Add some salt and place lid on and reduce heat so it just simmers. Keep adding some water to it when it thickens and replace lid again. Keep doing this for approx 1 hour or more until it is cooked to your liking. While this is cooking, heat some olive oil in large frypan or wok and add the onions and saute until just becoming transparent. Add the mince and turn the heat up to quite high and cook through for several minutes. When browned all over, add the ham and stir through. Add the tomato sauce to the meat and continue to cook some more. Add some cracked pepper and a little sea salt if needed. Using a large lasagna pan, put a layer of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan then place a row of lasagna sheets over this. Spoon another layer of meat sauce over pasta then a handful of mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers until you end with pasta. Spoon a little more of the sauce over the top to stop the pasta from drying out when cooking and then som more cheese over this. Spread the parmesan cheese over the top of this and either place a lid (if available) or foil gently over the top and cook oven at about 180 - 190 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue in oven about another 5 - 8 minutes just to slightly brown the top of lasagna. Serve with some lovely crusty italian bread and a tossed green salad.