Monday, January 4, 2016

Italian Sausage and Beef Lasagne

Nothing beats a full plate of Lasagne no matter what language you speak...... 

And I like nothing better than exploring different flavours for Lasagne.  Traditional thick beef sauce with lots of Bechamel sauce is wonderful but sometimes one just needs to look outside the square when it comes to this wonderfully comforting dish.  

I decided, especially after the somewhat recent success of my Italian Sausage and Beef Bolognaise that trying this as the base sauce in a Lasagne would be only the right thing to do!! And trust me it was. 

The flavours were magnificent ... from the underlying flavours of the Italian sausage full of fennel, garlic and chilli, the thick tomato sauce and right through to the thick creamy Bechamel sauce this was definitely a winner.


Italian Sausage and Beef Lasagne

Serves: 8

500 grams Italian sausage, skins removed and cut into small chunks
500 grams lean ground beef
1 brown onions, finely diced
1 cloves garlic, crushed
1 x 425 grams tinned diced tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato paste
700 gram bottle passata (tomato puree)
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 carrots, grated
1 large zucchini, grated
30 grams butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
500 ml skim milk
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
salt
ground white pepper
8 fresh Lasagne sheets
150 grams grated tasty cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large frying pan cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. 

Transfer to a large saucepan and stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, passata, and water. 

Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, oregano, parsley, salt, and season with freshly ground black pepper. 

Add carrot and zucchini.  Stir well until well combined.  Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened.

Meanwhile make the Bechamel by adding the butter to a large saucepan.  Cook over medium heat and until completely melted.  Remove from heat.  Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until flour is mixed through and you have a nice soft roux.  Return to the heat and gradually add in the milk, using a whisk mix continually, ensuring it's completely mixed through and that you have no lumps.  Continue with remaining milk.  Leave to simmer over low heat, stirring, until thickened slightly.  Add the mustard and season with salt and pepper.  Stir well. Remove from heat.

Spoon 1/4 beef mixture over base of a lasagne dish. Top with 2 lasagne sheets. Cover with another 1/4 of the beef mixture and then cover with 1/3 of the Bechamel sauce.  Top with another 2 lasagne sheets.  Spread again with 1/4 of the beef mixture and cover with 2 lasagne sheets.  Finally put the remaining beef mixture in the dish and cover with the remaining lasagne sheets. Top with remaining Bechamel sauce over the lasagne sheets and sprinkle with the combined grated cheese.

Cover with foil (spray foil with cooking spray to stop cheese sticking to the foil) and bake in oven for 40 - 45 minutes. Remove foil and cook for a further 5 - 10 minutes until cheese is golden brown.

Serve immediately.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)


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