I’d hardly say I am the worlds WORST cook. But Martha Stewart, I ain’t. When we lived in the US we went out for dinner at least three times a week, and if we were at home, dinner was usually some frozen dish that required about 30 minutes in the oven. It was never anything fancy. I’d never understood those who could just whip up a fantastic dinner or who got joy out of having a glass or two of wine while slaving over a stove for an hour or more only to sit down and devour the meal in 5 minutes. Because that is how dinner is here. Sit, eat, done, get up and get on with things.
We all know how expensive it is to go out to eat in Australia. So when we moved here, I had to find meals to cook, quick smart. Like most families, we have had the regular rotation of about 7 or 8 dishes that we have every week. Chicken bake pasta, spaghetti, lasagne, home-made pizza (see a pattern forming here? I must have been Italiano in a previous life!), chicken stir fry, roast & veggies, steak and salad, quiche and salad, nachos/tacos…and that’s about the extend of it.
Thanks to Michelle Bridges cook book, we’ve recently added a few other dishes like lamb and sweet potato tagine, chicken sang choy bow and spicy cajun chicken kebabs. I’m slowly learning to appreciate the time and effort that goes in to making a healthy and tasteful meal.
In saying all that, the recipe I want to share with you for Kate’s Menu Monday is my lasagne recipe. Because it is by far the best lasagne I have ever eaten, if I do say so myself. It is SO.EASY and guarantee everyone will LOVE it! You can also make it any size you want – just double your ingredients and there’s more than enough to go around. I typically make mine in a 24x38x8 dish and it is easily enough to feed 6 adults.
1 kg beef mince
1-2 jars of your choice of spaghetti sauce
Fresh lasagne sheets (NOT the boxed ones in the pasta section!)
500g ricotta cheese (smooth, original, low fat, your choice)
300-400g shredded mozzarella cheese
1. preheat fan forced oven to 180deg
2. brown mince, add in spaghetti sauce, saving some to line the baking dish
3. mix together ricotta cheese and most of mozzarella cheese (save some for topping later)
4. spread spaghetti sauce on bottom of baking dish
5. add a layer of fresh lasagne sheets, covering the base
6. add a layer of cheese mix
7. add a layer of mince & sauce mix
8. repeat steps 5-7
9. cover with al-foil and place in oven for 20 minutes. remove and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top, return to the oven, uncovered, for 10 more minutes.
remove from oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes before cutting. this allows it to set a bit so it doesn’t melt everywhere when you cut it open. Serve with salad/garlic bread/fries/whatever the heck you want. It is so delicious!
And to chime in over at Sunny + Scout for Point-And-Shoot Monday, here’s a few images from our late afternoon BBQ at the beach Saturday afternoon. I really do live in paradise, and think I need more afternoons like this to remind me of that.
That is a bride and groom having pics taken in the bottom left corner.