Everyone loves lasagne
When we are asked to cook for a large hungry crowd needing a tasty, hot but easy-to-eat supper, perhaps for a barn dance or quiz night we often suggest lasagne accompanied with some really great salads and home made garlic breads. Always devoured.
OK, so it is hardly cordon bleu or rocket science and lots of people make lasagne themselves anyway; but sometimes lack of space, facilities, material items or simply the logistics of making it in very large quantities can be a little daunting. However, whatever version, it is always such a party winner, if like so many other successful and popular dishes – a tad 1980s! So whilst you may need our help if you are having a big party why not try out some of our variations and ideas on a smaller scale, for your family? One big tip though – please don’t be tempted with a bought jar of ready-made sauce or tub of cheese sauce. Make it yourself and just taste the delicious difference.
Whilst traditionally made with pasta sheets layered with savoury beef mince and topped with a white sauce is yum; we like to think up different variations of the theme such as using good quality pork mince with a little grated apple or using lamb mince and topping the dish with grated parmesan or a little stilton.
One of our popular vegetarian options that even the meat eaters love is to make a mixture of colourful roasted peppers, aubergines, red onions, courgettes and beef tomatoes. Topping with a home made cheddar cheese sauce.
Wilted, well drained fresh spinach combined with sautéed posh mushrooms, pine nuts and ricotta cheese layered up with the pasta also makes a yummy dish. Served on a bed of leaves and in small portions this one also makes for an unusual dinner party starter.
For fish lovers – using seasoned milk gently poach white fish with flaked smoked salmon, king prawns and mussels; then using the fishy milk (which sounds awful doesn’t it?) make up into a tasty white sauce with butter and cornflour. Layering the fish, pasta and sauce – this is rich and delicious, just needing a good green salad to accompany.
For a really wholesome lasagne sauté chopped onions, carrots and celery and add a couple of tins of good quality tomatoes, then a generous splash of Worcester sauce and seasoning. Combining this vegetable sauce with cooked red lentils results in a thick tasty mixture. Layered up with the lasagne sheets and finally topped with a tub of crème fraiche. Taking a good 45 minutes in the oven it makes a super filling tasty supper.
Finally, try layering up the pasta sheets with a combination of good home made tomato sauce, pieces of cooked chicken, onions and peppers with perhaps a splash of chilli sauce for a kick. If you are making this version for your own family it is a great way of using up any left -over chicken from the Sunday roast. Topped with some more of the tomato sauce, bake in the oven for 45 mins then add a generous topping of grated cheese and return to the oven for the cheese to melt and bubble up. Delish.
So, why not try one of our lasagne ideas or just think out of the box a little and make up your own new family favourite version. But do make it yourself – it is definitely worth it.
Sue and Tom