I have always loved lasagne, and made my very first one when I was 13 for my Dad and brother as my Mum was in hospital at the time. I had often watched her make one so thought I would give it a go, and I made it all from scratch including the cheese sauce. I have never looked back really.
Over the years I have made variations on a beef lasagne and made vegetable ones, seafood ones, chicken and bacon ones, bacon and cauliflower cheese ones and turkey lasagne. It is a a turkey lasagne which I am going to post. Although beef is my favourite (and certainly it is my OH’s who moans whenever I sway from the beef mince lasagne path!), I think turkey makes a nice change and it is cheap and lean and in using turkey mince, you are giving your family a superfood too!
You will need:
For the ragu:
500g turkey mince (I use thigh)
100g smoked pancetta cubed (or you could use smoked bacon)
1 large onion, chopped finely
2 large carrots, grated
1 large courgette, grated
2 peppers, chopped
Garlic – 1tsp (I use the Lazy already chopped up garlic in a jar)
500g passatta ( I use the one with added italian herbs)
1 knorr chicken stock pot gel
Dash of black pepper for seasoning
For the cheese sauce:
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
A dash of english mustard
250g grated strong cheddar ( I used the half fat version to be a bit virtuous!)
For the ragu:
Add a glug of olive oil to a deep saucepan and fry the turkey mince until it changes from pink to a grey/brown colour (about 5 minutes)
Remove from the heat and drain off the fat and place into the slow cooker
Then return the saucepan to the heat and add some more olive oil and the garlic.
Fry off the pancetta on a high heat for about 3 minutes until it starts to change colour, then add the onion and reduce the heat a little.
After about another 3-4 minutes add the carrot, courgette and pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes on a low heat.
Remove from the heat and drain off any excess fat then add to the turkey in the slow cooker
Add the passatta and the chicken stock pot gel, and mix well.
Turn slow cooker to the lowest setting and allow to cook for about 7 hours or overnight
Once cooked, taste and season with black pepper as required.
For the cheese sauce:
Add the butter to a medium sized saucepan and when it is stating to melt add the flour and stir well until combined. Keep stirring and very soon the mixture will come away from the sides, once this happens the mixture must be cooked for 1 minute and it must be continually stirred.
Once this has happened remove from the heat and add a few glugs of milk to start with, and stir the pan so that the flour mixture and the milk combine. You may find that using a whisk helps here. The idea is to get rid of the lumps before you return the pan to the heat.
Once the lumps have gone, return the pan to the heat and while stirring all the time, allow the milk to heat up. Add the rest of the milk and after a couple of minutes you should feel the sauce thicken. Now add your cheese, probably in three parts, and again keep stirring.
Once the sauce comes to the boil, keep stirring and allow it to cook for 1 minute.
Remove from the heat and add the mustard and stir well. The cheese sauce should be lovely and thick now.
Once both sauces are ready, get a large square/rectangular oven proof dish and lightly grease the bottom of it
Line the bottom of it with the ragu sauce
Add a layer of lasagne sheets
Add a layer of cheese sauce
Repeat layers, making sure the final one has cheese sauce on the top
Cook in a Pre- heated oven of 180oC/160oC (fan) for about 45 minutes – until the top browns.
Serve with a side salad and jacket wedges to make the lasagne go around further
(This recipe easily feeds 4-8 people, depending on portion size!)
I am posting this recipe as part of the Britmums Lean On Turkey Competition
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Thank you xx