THE best tip for a rich tasting, delicious, quick lasagne
PREP TIME:15 mins
COOKING TIME: 30 mins
IDEAL FOR: family meals; casual meals with friends
The home cooks life saver… sausage meat.
It’s taken me a very, very long time to discover this fantastic little nugget of home cooking info.
Which leads me to stay a quick thanks to Mary Berry who (inadvertently) gave me the sausage meat short-cut due to TV surfing after a long day at work.
Unashamedly, I was looking for some deeply-satisfyingly-trashy-TV to switch off to…
Think MIC trashy TV – and if you don’t know those three letters, then it’s probably better for me and any ‘street cred’ I might have, that you don’t.
During this ‘surf’, I was stopped by the sight of a delicious lasagne being whipped up by the Queen of home cooking, Mary Berry.
Did you already know this??…
Not only was Mary Berry using sausage meat, not mince.
She also went off-piste on the sauce. Instead of making a roux for the white sauce, she used Creme Fraiche!
What is this cooking wizardry??!
My cooking life just shifted a little.
Why didn’t I know about the sausage meat short cut?!
For years, I’ve tried to master the perfect flavoursome lasagne.
Needless to say, I’ve bought the best quality mince, part pork, part beef. Thrown in the onions, added secret herbs and spices, laboured over a roux to make the perfect white sauce, added local cheddar… it goes on.
But never has my lasagne –
1. been executed so quickly (it’s meant to be a simple dish, right?!);
2. pack the flavour punch I imagined I was creating;
The humble sausage
Without a doubt, this recipe really does make lasagne the quick, tasty, comforting meal, that I’ve always pursued with its perfectly balanced, rich flavours.
And it’s all due to the humble sausage and its creator.
So, if you knew this trick, well done you.
However, if you didn’t, then this will, quite honestly, revolutionise your lasagne and some other classic dishes in your home cooking repertoire while saving time and money.
A slightly disgruntled (maybe not even) shout out
I can’t go on without doing a shout-out (shout at) to one of my dearest friends, Steph.
It should be noted, Steph is an amazing home cook and handles the kitchen like a true Italian mama (*Steph has good strong Italian roots).
Despite knowing this, I still magnanimously gave her the sausage meat ‘insiders tip’ one day when she visited Chez Gunstone.
To my initial disbelief, Steph shook her head s l o w l y at me – you know only way a good friend can – and told me she’s been doing that for years. Mama Mia! (hand-on-forehead-slap)
However, she did reconfirm that this is a great method to make lasagne and gave me the heads up on making another easy and tasty recipe using sausage meat, pasta ragu… which is also a winner so (I guess) thanks for that one #ItalianMamaSteph
Got a friend like Steph? Here’s an interesting little home cooks fact that might make you feel better
Did you know…
One in four British people can only cook three recipes from scratch
And only four in ten know more than nine recipes (article from The Independent, 2018).
So, this sausage meat revelation, could help some of us change these stats.
You shouldn’t feel like this approach is taking the love out of your cooking.
Nor do you need to tell those that receive this heart-warming dish what the secret is! (unless they’re another home cook!)
When you serve up this lasagne recipe, below, you will see the smiles on your family and friends faces and that’s all that counts.
So, I tip my hat in thanks to Merry Berry and my, ‘
next time tell me your tips earlier why don’t you!’, dear friend, Steph x
THE Ultimate Lasagne
- 250 g lasagne sheets fresh pasta is nicest (you can get them in any supermarket) but I also use dried pasta as well)
- 8 (quality) sausages
- 1 onion (sliced and diced)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 400 g tinned chopped tomato or Passata (have an extra can of tinned tomatoes handy, no need to be stingy)
- 2 large handfuls of mushrooms (roughly chopped) I use white button or field… whatever is easy to come by
- 600 ml creme fraiche (but you can do it with 300ml)
- 125 g mozzarella
- 200 g grated cheddar cheese or enough to cover the last lasagne layer before cooking
- Pre-heat your oven to 180°C / 356°F / Gas Mark 4
- In a frying pan, on medium head add 2-3 tbsp olive oil fry off the onion for a few minutes until they have softened
- Slice the sausage skin down the centre so you can pull out 'knobs' of sausage meat and fry off in the pan with the onion.
- Add in the chopped mushrooms, give everything a stir around and then finally add in the creme fraiche. Stir through and let it simmer for a minute or two.
- Now, build your lasagne in a oven dish.
- Add a couple of spoonfuls to the dish first, then on top, scatter some generous 'nuggets' of mozzarella – just pull it a part with your fingers. In the gaps, spoon some tinned tomato. Add some sheets of lasagne pasta to cover. Repeat.You will do this twice and on second pasta layer, you add the final sausage meat mixture, mozzarella, tomatoes and then cover all of it with grated cheddar cheese and a bit of cracked pepper.
- Cook for 30-35 minutes until the sauce is sizzling at the sides and the cheese looks melted and gooey.Serve up!
Do you have any short cuts that I need to learn about and could help share??… leave a comment and let’s make cooking easier for everyone
I am linking this up to CookBlogShare