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Beef & Spinach Lasagne

by Krista Jewett (follow)
Dinner (2274)      Pasta (281)      Tomatoes (202)      Beef (175)      Sauce (70)      Casserole (43)     
I like to make this lasagne when I want to have a no-fuss dinner party, accompanied with a side salad, garlic bread and a good bottle of red wine. Alternatively, I make this for a family dinner and freeze the extra slices individually to make a fast weeknight meal.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes for sauce, 10 minutes for lasagne assembly
Cooking Time: 1-2 hours for sauce, 45 minutes baking time for lasagne
Makes: 12 servings

1 tbsp olive oil
500 g lean ground beef
1 medium-sized white onion (~1 cup), diced
3 medium-sized cloves garlic, minced
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
3 tbsp tomato paste
800 g can diced tomatoes
1 L pasata or tomato sauce
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
2 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper (or chili) flakes
4 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup cold water
1/8 cup all-purpose flour

Glass baking dish (9.5 x 13.5 x 2 in) 3 QT
Fresh lasagne sheets
250 g light ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 cup spinach, chopped
600 g shredded mozzarella cheese (or more if you want it really cheesy)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

In a large pot, heat the olive oil on a medium setting.

Add the ground beef and cook until browned.

Add the onions and garlic and sauté until clear, about 4 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Add the tomato paste, stir it in and cook for 1 minute (this brings out the flavour in the tomato).

Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, spinach, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and bay leaves - give it a good stir.

Put the lid on and turn down to a low setting and simmer for at least an hour (I usually do for at least 2 hours).

If sauce needs thickening, add cold water to a small liquid-tight container.

Add the flour, put the lid on and shake vigorously (to avoid clumping).

Pour the mixture slowly into the bolognese sauce as you are stirring.

Cook for a further 10 minutes.

To make lasagne, place the first layer of lasagne sheets on the bottom of the baking dish.

Add a generous amount (about 1/4 of recipe) of bolognese sauce on top of the pasta.

Sprinkle with 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese.

Add a second layer of pasta on top of the first layer.

Spoon a generous amount (about 1/4 of recipe) of bolognese sauce on top of the pasta.

Sprinkle spinach leaves on top of the sauce.

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese and egg, stir until fully mixed.

Add the ricotta-egg mixture to the lasagne and spread until evenly distributed.

Add a third layer of pasta.

Spoon a generous amount (about 1/4 of recipe) of bolognese sauce on top of the pasta.

Sprinkle the other 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce.

Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over top of the lasagne

Bake for 40 minutes in a 350°F (180°C) oven.

Turn on broil for an additional 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

Leave to cool for 10 minutes before cutting with a sharp knife.

I like this Recipe - 12
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