Lamb and vegetable lasagna

Lamb and Mutton SA
10 servings Prep: 15 mins, Cooking: 1 hr 30 mins
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Lasagna made with layers of lamb mince, baked bean and tomato ragu, roasted butternut, creamed spinach and a bechamel and pecorino topping.

By Independent Contributor August 01 2022
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Ingredients (34)

For the ragu
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions — finely diced
2 garlic cloves — minced
500 g lamb mince
2 carrots — peeled and grated
1 celery stalk — finely chopped
1 cup lamb stock
1 tin whole peeled tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp chutney
1/4 cup fresh oregano — 1 tablespoon dried
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tin baked beans in tomato sauce
For the roasted butternut
1 kg butternut — peeled and sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme — or 4 stalks fresh thyme
For the creamed spinach
500 g spinach — stems removed
2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup cream
1 cup pecorino cheese — finely grated
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
For the bechamel
6 tbsp butter
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
4 cup milk
12 lasagna sheets
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese — grated
1/2 cup pecorino cheese — grated
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Prepare the ragu

 Use a large heavy based pan.  Heat the oil and over medium add the onions and garlic and sauté 10 minutes until golden brown. 

Turn the stove onto high and add the mince. Use a large fork and crumble the   meat. Fry until browned. Turn the heat to medium.

Add the carrot and celery. Mix well and sauté for a further 5 minutes.

Add the stock and loosen the browned bits from the pan. Add the tomatoes crushing them to break them up and mix in with the meat mixture.

Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, chutney and oregano, salt and pepper. Stir the mixture to blend well.

Turn the heat to low and simmer for an hour. Add the baked beans and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Prepare the butternut (prepare this while ragu is cooking)

 Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the butternut on a lined baking tray, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the thyme over the butternut.

Roast for 15-20 minutes until golden and tender. Set aside.

Prepare the creamed spinach (prepare this while ragu is cooking)

Place the spinach into a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water.  Allow to stand for 10 seconds, drain and try to remove as much of the moisture as possible by placing it between clean kitchen cloths and pressing it to dry.

Finely chop the spinach and place in a bowl with the cottage cheese, cream, pecorino, nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix to combine the spinach and cheese. Set aside. 

Prepare the bechamel

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and salt and create a smooth paste.  Cook for 1-2 minutes over medium heat.

Add the milk and stir until thick and smooth.  Let the bechamel cook for 5 minutes to ensure that the mixture is cooked through. 

Assembling the Lasagna

Cook the lasagna sheets in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 4-5 minutes or until partially cooked.

To assemble the lasagna, place ¼ cup of bechamel into the base of a lightly greased a large ovenproof dish. Place prepared lasagna sheets on the bechamel. Top with 2 cups of ragu, place ½ of the roasted butternut over the mixture and then cover with 1 cup of the spinach mixture. Pour over ½ cup of bechamel. Cover with lasagna sheets and repeat with the remaining ingredients, finishing with the remaining lasagna sheets and bechamel sauce.  Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top and finish the assembled lasagna with a sprinkling of the grated Pecorino. 

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake a further 15 minutes or until cooked through and the cheese is golden and the top crispy. Leave to stand and settle for 15 minutes before serving.

Supported by the Red Meat Industry of SA – Recipes and styling by Gerrie du Rand and photos by Michelle Parkin.

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