Lasagna

Submitted by: Khong Jean Ai
It's actually reaaaaaaaally easy once you get the hang of it!

Serves: 4

Ingredients

a) Tomato sauce
1.15 kg fresh, red, ripe tomatoes
1tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 fat clove garlic, finely chopped
Approximately 12 large leaves fresh basil
Salt and freshly milled black pepper

b) Meat/Quorn sauce
500g minced pork (or chicken, beef, Quorn...)
2 onion, chopped
3 pips garlic, finely chopped
1tbsp olive oil or butter

c) Cheese sauce
2tbsp flour
1 box whipped cream (about 200ml) and 200ml water OR if using milk, use 400ml
Considerable amount of cheese, either medium mature cheddar or mozzarella
1tbsp olive oil

d) Pasta
No-need-to-precook sheets, about 9 sheets.

Method

To cook tomato sauce: (if you're lazy, use a premade spaghetti sauce :P)
Skin the tomatoes. Reserve 3 of the tomatoes for later and roughly chop the rest. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, add onion and garlic. Gently cook for 5-6 minutes until soft and pale gold. Add the chopped tomatoes with about a third of the basil, torn into pieces. Add some salt and freshly milled black pepper. Simmer on a very low heat, without a lid, for approximately 1½ hours or until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the tomatoes are reduced to a thick, jam-like consistency, stirring now and then. Roughly chop the reserved fresh tomatoes and stir them in, along with the rest of the torn basil leaves.

To cook meat sauce:
Heat oil or butter and stir-fry the onion and garlic till fragrant. At this point you can add any other veg if you want to (I added thinly sliced carrots). Add meat/Quorn and leave to simmer. Season with black pepper and salt. Add the meat/Quorn mixture into the tomato sauce.

To make bechamel/cheese sauce:
Heat oil, add flour and mix. When the mixture becomes transparent, add 400ml of milk or whipped cream (200ml + 200ml water). Mix well and add cheese. (if you're being lazy, the supermarket ready-made ones are fine!)

To assemble:
Grease an overproof casserole dish. Add one layer of meat sauce. Cover it with some cheese sauce, top with some pasta sheets (don't worry about any gaps if the pasta doesn't totally cover the sauce). Continue for another one or two layers (use your judgement - if you've got too little sauce left, stop layering!) and make sure top layer is covered with the cheese sauce. Sprinkled some parmesan and mozarella on top for that golden effect.

Bake in 200 degree Celsius oven for 30mins. Once cooked and the pasta is soft, leave to cool down for about 5mins before attempting to cut and serve the lasagna. This way, the cheese will harden a bit, and it'll be less messy when serving. If you have any leftover meat or cheese sauce, they can be frozen to be served with pasta for another meal. Do not attempt to make the layers too thick just to finish the sauces.

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