It wasn’t until I was a grown up that anyone questioned our standard family supper of lasagne and roast potatoes… It gives me quite a giggle to think about it now! What a carb fest, extreme comfort food! Although I’ve dropped the addition of roast potatoes from this dish, I do often make a lasagne, especially in the winter months and it’s usually always vegetarian. It still feels like comfort food to me, and I’m sure my children are inheriting the same feeling… So here it is in all its carby, cheesy, tomato glory!
Ingredients (serves 6):
350g egg lasagne
Ingredients for the tomato sauce:
2 tins tomatoes
100g red lentils
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
125mls red wine
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp mixed herbs
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
salt & black pepper
additional water to top up when the lentils absorb the liquid
Ingredients for the cheese sauce:
100g mature cheddar*
1 pint milk*
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp ground nutmet
crack of black pepper
Method for the Tomato Sauce:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
2. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a pan on the hob.
3. finely chop the onion, crush the garlic and soften in the pan for around 10 minutes.
4. Add the two tins of chopped or plum tomatoes, maple syrup, salt, pepper & two sprigs of rosemary.
5. Add the lentils and red wine and stir. Keep an eye on the sauce and add water if it becomes too dry as the lentil cook. Simmer for around 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
Method for the Cheese Sauce:
1. Melt the butter in a pan on the hob.
2. Stir in the flour to form a thick doughy consistency and begin to whisk in the milk a little at a time until it is absorbed by the butter & flour.
3. Add the dijon mustard, nutmeg and crack of black pepper along with the cheese and stir. Bring to a gentle simmer until the cheese has melted and remove from the heat.
Putting the Lasagne Together:
1. Put a layer of lasagne sheets on the bottom of a large oven proof dish.
2. Layer the tomato sauce, cheese sauce and follow with another layer of lasagne sheets. Repeat until the lasagne has been used up.
3. Grate some additional cheese on the top of the lasagne. Cover the dish with foil and place in the oven for 35 minutes.
4. After 35 minutes remove the foil from the top of the lasagne dish and cook for a further 10 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and check the lasagne is cooked through with a skewer or knife, it should be soft through and the cheese lightly browned.
Serve with steamed green veg, salad or even roast potatoes if you like!!
* I use organic dairy products for the sake of the animals. It’s not often we think about the production end of the food we consume, but when it comes from livestock, for me it’s especially important to make ethical decisions. You can read more about ethical dairy farming on the ethical consumer site. In short though organic dairy cows are not to be given hormones to encourage growth or productivity, are not routinely given anti-biotics and will spend most of their lives outdoors.