Best Meat Lasagne with Fresh Tomato

A lovely moist lasagne. If you do not like the fresh tomato, see variation below. The big trick is to soak the sheets of pasta in warm water for 10 minutes to soften them. To calculate exactly how many sheets of lasagne you need – fit one layer of sheets in the dish, multiply by three for the three layers and you know how many to soak.

YOU WILL NEED

  • 1 x 200 g packet riffled lasagne sheets (we used 14 sheets for our dish)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 T (30 ml) oil
  • 500 g lean beef mince
  • 2 t (10 ml) Ina Paarman's Garlic Pepper Seasoning
  • 1 t (5 ml) Ina Paarman's Beef Flavour Stock Powder
  • ½ cup (125 ml) fresh cream
  • 2 T (30 ml) water
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Ina Paarman's Green Onion Seasoning
  • 1 t (5 ml) sugar
  • 1 x 400 ml Ina Paarman's Creamy Cheese Pasta Sauce
  • ½ cup (125 ml) fresh full cream milk
  • 1 x 250 g smooth cottage cheese
  • 1 egg

Topping

  • ½ cup (125 ml) grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
  • 1 T (15 ml) olive oil or melted butter
  • ½ cup (125 ml) soft white breadcrumbs
Method

Soak the lasagne sheets for 10 – 15 minutes in hot tap water. This dramatically improves the tenderness of the pasta and reduces the baking time of the lasagne to only 35 minutes. Spread sheets out on baking paper or a clean dishcloth.

Brown the onion in the oil. Add the mince and stir-fry with a fork, pressing down to break any big lumps. Add Garlic Pepper Seasoning and Stock Powder. Add cream and water. Simmer slowly for 10 minutes. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Slice the tomatoes and season with Green Onion Seasoning and sugar. Pour the Cheese Pasta Sauce into a medium bowl. Pour the milk into the empty pasta jar and shake well to get every bit out. Pour into the bowl, add cottage cheese and egg and mix to thin the sauce down.

Using a 30 cm x 24 cm ovenproof dish, spread ¼ of the cheese sauce mixture into the dish. Layer with a third of the pasta sheets, then a third of the mince mixture, one sliced tomato and another ¼ of the cheese sauce. Repeat layering twice more and end with a layer of cheese sauce mixture.

Mix the grated cheese, olive oil or melted butter and fresh breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top. Bake for 35 minutes until nicely browned. Serve with a well-dressed Italian salad with Ina Paarman’s Classic Balsamic Vinaigrette or Creamy Caesar Dressing and country style bread.

Ina's Tip

Omit the fresh tomatoes and add a 125 ml pack of Ina Paarman’s Sun-dried Tomato Pesto to the mince after cooking.

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