Lasagne, how can you go wrong? Layers of rich meaty sauce with creamy béchamel and spicy tomato topped with a cheesy crust. Bless the cook that invented this wickedly wonderful food.
The only trouble is, it takes an age to make from scratch and the shop bought stuff never really hits that homemade spot.
So, I’ve come up with a few ideas to save time as well as some other tasty options.
Make double: When you make your mince, make double or more. Freeze the rest in batches for the next time you make it.
Try my easy recipe.
Buy in: Buy in the tomato sauce, cheese/béchamel or grated cheese – there are loads of really great pasta sauces to choose from and not too pricey either.
The downside of this is that it starts to get pricey. Try my super-quick and simple béchamel sauce.
With all the bits, it takes a mere 15 minutes to layer it all together and pop it in the oven.
This is also a great time-saver option. Buy pre-chopped butternut and pop in the oven to roast.
In the meantime make a quick creamed spinach.
Layer it all together with bought-in rich tomato pasta sauce and you’re done.
This is super fancy and trendy. You might have come across it in a restaurant – an open lasagna.
It’s basically all the ingredients and pre-cooked lasagna sheets layered loosely on a plate and garnished. So simple and you can play with all sorts of different fillings.
Try this one - it's delicious!
Chicken and sun-dried tomato open lasagne with goats cheese:
4 lasagne sheets
1 chicken breast
1 pot bought basil pesto
6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 roll goats cheese
1 couple of sprigs of basil
Cut the chicken breast into strips and pan-fry in a little butter. When they are just done, toss them in a large tablespoon of pesto. Keep warm in a very low oven.
Cut the sun-dried tomatoes into strips and mix with ½ the goats cheese. Pop in the oven to warm.
In a pot of boiling water, cook the lasagna sheets and lay onto a baking tray. Cut them in half.
Start layering. Start with one lasagna sheet, then the goats cheese mixture, another sheet, then the chicken mixture and then the last sheet. Top with the rest of the goats cheese which you have sliced into discs. Place under a grill for a minute until it starts to brown.
Top with a teaspoon of pesto, garnish with the basil leaves and there you have it, a really lovely dinner party dish to impress.
Other great filling ideas are:
1. Creamy chicken with broccoli and Parmesan.
2. Chorizo, garlic and spicy tomato sauce.
3. Creamy white wine and garlic mussels.