Roasted cauliflower lasagne. Picture: Supplied
Roasted cauliflower lasagne. Picture: Supplied

RECIPES: 3 different ways to make lasagne

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Apr 8, 2021

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When it comes to comfort food, there is just nothing better than pasta and cheese. Whether you prefer meat or a vegetable dish, we have gathered up the best lasagne recipes that make the most of this classic combination.

Get ready to take this dinner standby from good to great with these delicious, creative lasagne recipes that can be served at family meals, or holiday celebrations.

Lasagne alla Bolognese

Serves: 12 people

Ingredients

1 box Barilla Lasagne sheets

For the Bolognese sauce

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

340g ground beef

230g ground pork

½ cup dry white wine

3 cups water

⅓ cup tomato paste

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the béchamel sauce

4tbsp butter

4tbsp flour

4 cups milk

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Method

Bolognese sauce

Process onions, celery, and carrots in a food processor until finely minced.

Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add minced vegetables and sauté over medium-high heat for 20 minutes.

Add ground meat; cook until meat sticks to the bottom of the pan. Add wine; scrape browned bits of meat on the bottom of the pan into wine and sauté until wine is reduced.

Cover meat with water; stir in tomato paste; season with salt and pepper. Cook at least 1-1 ½ hour or until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick.

Béchamel sauce

Melt butter in a saucepan. In a separate saucepan, heat milk.

Add flour to melted butter. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon.

Add hot milk gradually to flour and butter, beating the mixture with a whisk until thickened.

Assemble lasagne

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Assemble lasagne in a baking dish (approx. 33x23 cm).

Spread ½ cup béchamel sauce on the bottom of the pan. Top with ¼ cup of the meat sauce.

Assemble 5 layers each with 3 sheets Barilla lasagne, béchamel sauce, meat sauce, and grated cheese.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until heated throughout. Let it stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Recipe supplied by Chef Giorgio Nava.

Butternut and sage burnt butter lasagne

Ingredients

600g butternut, weight without seeds and peel cut into thin slices

2 red onions, cut into wedges

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1tbsp sage leaves, finely chopped

1tbsp olive oil

1tbsp maple syrup

2tsp white wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

200g lasagne sheets

80g spinach, chopped

150g chevin cheese, crumbled

2 cups grated mozzarella

2tbsp butter, chopped

1tbsp sage leaves, extra salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 220 °C.

Toss the butternut, onion, garlic, sage, oil, maple syrup, vinegar, salt, and pepper together to combine and spread this on an oven tray, lined with baking paper.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cooked and lightly golden. Allow cooling slightly.

Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C.

Soak the lasagne sheets in a dish of boiled water for 2 minutes.

Do this in batches so they do not touch and stick together.

Dry the soaked sheets on a tea towel.

Leave the sheets needed for the top of the dish in the water until you are ready to use them.

Line a lightly greased ovenproof dish with lasagne sheets.

Use a dish that is the size of ⅓ of the lasagne sheets: you want to have 3 layers of lasagne sheets eventually. Trim to fit.

Top with ⅓ of the butternut, scatter over ⅓ of the spinach, ⅓ of the chevin, and ¼ mozzarella.

Repeat this to form two more layers, finishing with the last lasagne sheets.

To keep the top lasagne sheets moist, cover the dish with foil or cling wrap until you are ready for the next step.

Melt the butter in a small frying pan and cook for 1 minute until foamy.

Add the extra sage and cook for 1 more minute or until the sage is crispy.

Remove the sage from the butter and set it aside.

Spoon the melted butter over the top of the lasagne and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella.

If you are preparing ahead, cover the dish now and bake when ready.

Cook for 20−25 minutes until golden. Top with the reserved sage leaves to serve.

Serve with a green salad and a crusty loaf.

Recipe by Louise Gelderblom.

Roasted cauliflower lasagne

Ingredients

8 cups cauliflower florets (from 1 head cauliflower; about 2 1/2 pounds)

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for coating the lasagne sheets

Pinch salt

One can no-salt-added whole plum tomatoes

5 cloves garlic, 4 sliced and 1 chopped

1 large red pepper, diced

2tbsp tomato paste

1 cup fresh basil leaves

10 whole-wheat lasagne sheets

1 cup light ricotta

1 large egg

1 cup shredded light mozzarella

¼ cup grated Parmesan, or vegetarian alternative

2tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Method

Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Toss the cauliflower in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Spread the florets in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast, tossing once, until tender and golden brown in spots, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool slightly.

Put the tomatoes in a medium bowl and use your hands to crush them. Rinse the can with 1 ½ cups water and add it to the bowl of tomatoes.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil with 4 cloves sliced garlic and ½ teaspoon salt in a small cast iron casserole over medium heat until the garlic begins to sizzle and becomes aromatic for about 2 minutes. Add the red pepper and cook, stirring, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate about 30 seconds. Add the crushed tomatoes with their juice and 4 large leaves of basil. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened about 40 minutes. You should have about 3 ¾ cups of sauce.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop the lasagne sheets one at a time into the pot. Cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain the sheets in a colander. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of oil to the noodles, tossing to coat to prevent them from sticking, and drape over the side of a large bowl.

Combine the ricotta, egg, 1 ½ cups of the roasted cauliflower, and 1 chopped clove garlic in a food processor and pulse until evenly pureed. Tear the remaining basil into small pieces, add to the food processor, and pulse 3 to 4 more times to chop the basil finely, but not puree. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.

Assemble the lasagne: Spread a thin layer of sauce (around ¼ cup) on the bottom of a baking dish. Lay 4 of the sheets on the bottom, without overlapping, cutting to fit, if necessary. Spread with half of the cauliflower-ricotta mixture, followed by half of the roasted cauliflower, one-third of the tomato sauce, one-third of the mozzarella, and one-third of the Parmesan. Loosely fit 3 more sheets on top of the cheese without overlapping. Spread with the remaining cauliflower-ricotta mixture, followed by the remaining roasted cauliflower, one-third more of the tomato sauce, one-third more of the mozzarella, and one-third more of the Parmesan. Top with the remaining 4 lasagne sheets, cutting just to fit. Then add the remaining tomato sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake until bubbly and hot, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook until the cheese begins to brown, about 10 minutes more. Allow resting for 10 minutes so the lasagne will cut more easily. Garnish with parsley.

Recipe by: Food Network Kitchen Chefs.

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