Purists you might want to avert your eyes. Italian nonnas you might want to look away now. Anyone who says making lasagne takes hours and hours….I am about to prove you wrong! In this post you will discover how I make a quick and easy family favourite in 20mins ready to pop in the oven for your family tea.
Ask me what my desert island dish would be and it would be this. Lasagne. It’s what I always crave when I’ve been away on holiday. It’s what I always want when I’m feeling poorly.
And it’s what I’ll cook for my family as a special treat that absolutely everyone adores.
I have created a gluten and dairy free version which has a few special ingredients in it and I’ll let you into a few tricks to make this dish a lot quicker than usual. You don’t even have to chop an onion!
Let’s get started then.
You’ll need to be able to multi-task for this one so get your Jamie Oliver heads on and get all your stuff out and ready before you begin.
You will need this for the bolognese:
- A large pack of 750g lean in mince (I use the less than 5% fat version)
- A large 680g glass jar of passata (I used Asda’s which has basil in it)
- 1tsp onion powder
- 1tsp garlic powder
- 1tbsp dried basil
- 1tbsp dried oregano
- salt & pepper
You will need this for the cheese sauce:
- 100g dairy free butter (I used Pure sunflower)
- Gluten free flour (enough to bring the butter together to a form a roux)
- Almond milk
- 1tbsp lemon juice
- 1tsp english mustard
- 1tsp wholegrain mustard
- 3tbsp my no cheese parmesan
- lots of black pepper
You will need this for the topping:
- 2tbsp my no cheese parmesan
- 2 slices of gluten free bread turned into breadcrumbs
Now I don’t want to patronise anyone who knows how to make a lasagne but I thought as I list these step by step instructions I would also put some idiot proof pictures with them so you know exactly what things should look like if you’re not sure!
- Put the lean mince, with a generous dollop of coconut oil, into a large casserole dish on the hob and cook on a medium heat until all the meat has browned, stirring occasionally
- At the same time (yes you will need 2 sets of hands!) melt the butter in a large saucepan
- Once melted add enough flour to bring the butter together to form a roux
- Cook for a few minutes on a medium heat constantly stirring it
- Turn down the heat and start adding the milk
- Add a splash at a time and stir constantly until the milk is absorbed and the sauce has no lumps
- Keep adding more and more slowly bringing it back to a smooth sauce each time until you have the consistency of sauce that you would like (I probably used 1 pint or maybe more)
- Go back to the mince, it’s probably browned by now, add the herbs and seasonings
- Stir through and then add enough passata to make a thick rich looking bolognese (I used 2/3 of the jar)
- Let it bubble away whilst you finish the cheese sauce
- Go back to the cheese sauce and add the seasonings, mustards and the no-cheese parmesan, stir through
- Let the cheese sauce bubble away, stirring it every now and again, on a medium low heat until it’s thick and gooey looking
- Pop 2 slices of old gluten free bread into the food processor with 2tbsp of no cheese parmesan and whizz up into breadcrumbs
Right….now you’re ready to assemble the lasagne. Please don’t ask me why but we have a family tradition of using this totally impractical glass oval dish for our lasagne and I know you’re all thinking I should be using a large rectangular tray but I just can’t. So I end up having to break all my lasagne sheets up to fit. Stupid right?! Anyway…
- Get your lasagne dish ready
- Start to layer it up first with the bolognese, then with the lasagne sheets and finally with the cheese sauce
- I like to keep my layers pretty thin so we get as much pasta layers through the lasagne as possible
- Keep going until you’ve run out of mix (I got four layers of each in mine)
- Top with an even layer of the breadcrumb mixture
- Pop in the oven for 30-40mins at 180c (I check mine at 30mins by sliding a knife in the middle and seeing if the pasta gives any resistance and if it still does then I’ll give it another 10mins)
Now I know what you want you’re thinking….you’re wondering if it can possibly be as good as a full of dairy full of fat full of cheese full of wheat version right? And I know I am probably biased having to have missed out on lasagne deliciousness for a while now, but I’m telling you, and I’m sort of promising, that you won’t feel like you’re missing out with this dish.
It’s creamy, tangy, oozy, full of pasta and with a crunchy top that you just want to dig right in to. You’re gonna love it. Honestly.