Lasagne with Spinach

lasagne with spinach

Ingredients (serves 6)

Olive oil, for greasing
1 200g pkt instant lasagne sheets

Bolognaise Sauce:

1 1/2 tbs olive oil
Medium brown onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
700g lean beef mince
Red capsicum, deseeded, finely chopped
Medium carrot, coarsely grated
2 x celery sticks, finely sliced
2 x 400g cans whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
40g (1/4 cup) tomato paste
1 tbs finely chopped fresh Continental parsley
1/2 tsp freshly grated or ground nutmeg
Salt & ground black pepper

Bechamel Sauce:

60g (3 tbs) butter
35g (1/4 cup) plain flour
750mls (3 cups) milk

Filling:

1 pkt frozen spinach
Boiling water
125g (1 cup) grated cheddar cheese

Topping:

60g (1/2 cup) grated cheddar cheese
80g (1 cup) grated Parmesan
1 tbs chopped fresh Continental parsley
Method

To make the bolognaise sauce:

  1. Heat 2 tsp of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook the onion for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook for a further 1 minute.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tbs oil and heat before adding the beef mince. Cook, breaking the mince up with a wooden spoon, for 5-7 minutes or until the mince browns and the liquid evaporates.
  3. Add the capsicum, carrot, celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 3 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes with their liquid, tomato paste, parsley and nutmeg. Break up the tomatoes with the wooden spoon.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until reduced slightly.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

To make the béchamel sauce:

  1. Melt the butter in a heavy-based medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes, without browning. Remove from heat.
  3. Add milk a little at a time and stir with a whisk until smooth and well combined. Return to a low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until sauce simmers. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and cover the surface of the sauce with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming.

To make the filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Defrost spinach according to packet directions. Squeeze out excess water with your hands.
  3. To assemble the lasagne, brush a 36 x 22 x 5cm (2.5L/10-cup) ovenproof dish with a little olive oil to grease.
  4. Place 1 layer of the lasagne sheets over the base and top with 1/2 the bolognaise sauce, followed by 1/2 the bechamel sauce. Sprinkle with 1/2 the 125g (1 cup) grated cheddar cheese. Follow with another layer of lasagne sheets, the English spinach, the remaining bolognaise sauce and then the remaining grated cheddar cheese. Cover with another layer of lasagne sheets and then the remaining bechamel sauce. Sprinkle with the topping of cheddar cheese, Parmesan and parsley.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until golden and the lasagne sheets are cooked when tested with a skewer. Remove from oven and stand for 10 minutes before cutting into portions to serve.

NOTES & TIPS

  • The bolognaise sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead – it will improve in flavour. Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • The bechamel sauce can be made up to 1 day ahead, cover the surface with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge.