Beef Lasagne with Spinach – Delishar

This dish is on the husband’s favourite list. I like how you can taste the texture and layers when savouring it. I added celery for crunch since lasagne is kind of mushy. I also like using pasta that does not need to be precooked before layering. Saves me time, and a few more dishes that I do not have to wash. 🙂

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

  • 250g ricotta cheese*
  • 250g minced beef
  • 1.5 cup shredded mozzarella, reserve 1/2 cup for topping* 
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, reserve 1/4 cup for topping*
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped*
  • 1 egg*
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1 can diced tomato
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup beef stock
  • 1 pack instant lasagna sheets
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 2 stalk celery, diced,
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1/2 cup chopped frozen spinach, thawed
  • Salt and pepper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preheat oven to 180*C

Add all the ingredients for the cheese mixture marked * and add salt and pepper.

Set aside.

 

 

In a pot on med high heat, add oil and sauteed onion, and garlic until onion is soft.
Brown beef.

Add the spices/herbs, salt and pepper and sauteed for 1 min.

Add celery and carrot.

Pour in all the diced tomato, and 1 tbsp of tomato paste.
Add stock till desired consistency. Stir in sugar, bring to a boil.
Lower heat, let it simmer for 10 mins with lid on.

Start with thin layer of meat sauce on the bottom, then pasta sheet.

Meat again…
I use very little of the ‘watery’ juices. If that makes sense.

Layer of spinach (I used all), then layer of cheese.
Pushing it down making sure it is compact.

Noodle sheet, and repeat layers.

Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Tent with foil, and bake for 30 mins covered.
Remove foil, bake another 20 mins uncovered.

Let it sit for 10-15 mins before cutting into it. The time allows the layers to set.
Garnish with basil and serve!

Bon appetit!!

 

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Asian Lasagne (Thai Beef Curry Layered with Asian Tofu Salad) – Delishar

The one distinct thing I enjoyed when I told my first bite, was how my brain had to ‘re-wire’ itself to process that it is not the lasagne that I’m used to! Being mindful of that process was really interesting, because the brain registered the lasagne (that looked, and was layered like a traditional one) and primed me to expect a tomato based meat sauce with pasta and mushy ricotta cheese, only to be pleasantly be surprised by the freshness of Asian spices and herbs! The husband commented that the layers and fillings were really yummy, and the concept was interesting. It took him a while longer to register this fusion confusion meal, but once he got it… he went in for his 2nd serving. I would have used more tofu to recreate the texture of ricotta cheese but the husband is not a big fan of tofu. A very nice lady also suggested using unrolled ‘Chee Chiong Fun’ in place of the rice paper, which is a brilliant idea too! I really like rice paper, but it is so delicate and not very easy to handle.

Ingredients (Serves 3-4)

Thai Beef Curry

  • 2-3 tbsp red curry paste
  • 200ml low fat coconut milk
  • 250g minced beef

Salad Dressing

  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Juice of 2 lime
  • 1 garlic minced
  • 1 inch thumb ginger, grated

Salad

  • 1/2 cup firm tofu, diced and blanched
  • 1 cup bean sprouts, blanched
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 3/4 cup shredded cucumber
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp chopped spring onions
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil 

Others

  • 16 sheets of rice paper, soaked in warm water until softened
  • Parsley for garnishing
  • 1 tbsp crushed peanuts, garnishing

In a pot, heat curry paste and coconut milk.

Add minced beef, bring to boil.
Lower heat, cover, and let it simmer for 15 mins.
Open lid and continue simmering until desired sauce consistency.

Prepare your dressing while the curry is cooking.
Add all the ingredients for salad dressing in a small bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, mix in all the ingredients for the salad.
Mix in about 3-4 tbsp of the dressing.
Toss to coat, mashing the tofu at the same time.

Layer the bottom with a thin layer of beef curry.
Then place 4 pieces of softened rice paper on top.
I soak them one by one. They soften within seconds, drip dry and lay on the meat.

A layer of beef curry.

4 pieces of rice paper.
A layer of salad, used a tong and try not to scoop any of the liquid that is at the bottom of the mixing bowl.
We don’t want a dripping wet lasagne do we?

Rice paper again…
Continue layering until all the rice paper is used up.
Reserve some curry for the top.

Spread remaining beef curry on top.
Garnish with parsley, and sprinkle some crushed peanuts.
You will need a sharp knife to make clean cuts for serving.

Bon appetit!!

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Pulled Pork Lasagne – Delishar

A couple of weeks ago I made Sloppy Joes Macaroni Casserole and a google+ mate suggested using pulled pork. I thought it was a really good idea, mainly because I’m a huge fan of pulled pork. I was planning to make lasagne that week, and since that suggestion was given, I decided to marry the two. The pulled pork was slow cooked till tender and shredded. I adapted the sloppy joes sauce to make this sauce, as I thought the flavour will compliment the pork better. I was pretty pleased with the results, although I would suggest using frozen spinach instead of fresh. But then again, that’s a personal preference. Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

  • 6 no-cook lasagne sheets
  • 400g pork shoulders* (feel free to substitute for chicken or beef)
  • 1 Maggie beef cube*
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce*
  • 1 med yellow onion, sliced*
  • 1 med carrot shredded
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced red pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried pasley
  • 1 can diced tomato
  • 1-1/2 tbsp american mustard
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups fresh spinach

Cheese Mixture

  • 250g ricotta cheese, room temp
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, reserve 1/2 cup for topping
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 egg

Method

In a slow cooker, add ingredients marked *, and add enough water to cover the pork. 

Cook on high for 2.5 hours.

When done, drain liquid, and shred pork with 2 fork.

To make the sauce, heat pan on med high with oil.

Saute garlic, red pepper and celery for a couple of minutes.

Add diced tomatoes, and carrot. Mix well.

Add ketchup, mustard, dried pasley, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar, then mix.

Add pulled pork, and mix well.

Allow sauce to reduce and season with salt and pepper.

In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients fr cheese mixture, reserving 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese for topping. Mix until combined.

Layer your lasagne as shown below.

First spread a little meat sauce at the base of your casserole.
Place lasagne sheet on top of meat sauce.
Generously spread meat sauce on top of pasta sheets.
Top with spinach, and all of the cheese mixture on top of the spinach.
Layer pasta sheets again, and top with remaining meat sauce.
Sprinkle reserved cheese on top.
Loosely tent with foil.
Bake for 30 mins covered at 180C.
Remove foil, and bake for 18-20 mins.

Allow to rest for 10 mins before cutting into it.
Bon appetit!!

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