1 October 2014

Sausage Lasagna

This is by no means a traditional lasagna. Just pointing that out. But I love to experiment with food i.e. I don't have all the ingredients to make what I want so I substitute a bunch of stuff and hope it turns out well. And this is one of those cases where it didn't go horribly wrong! We didn't have mince but we did have sausages, so I thought 'why not?' and sausage lasagna was born. (Or maybe it already exists, but this is my version). I would also like to mention we used far too many sausages, but it was either that or throw them away the next day or so. This recipe isn't difficult but it is a bit time consuming, so if you want to make it easier go ahead and use premade béchamel sauce. I just love how homemade béchamel tastes, which is why I chose to do my own. As per usual, feel free to adapt whatever you want! 


Tomato sauce:
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 tubs of passata
1 tsp of oregano
1 tsp of basil
1 tsp of sage
Olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp sun dried tomato paste (optional)

Béchamel sauce:
750 ml milk + a bit extra
1 tsp parsley
a few bay leaves
1 small onion
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour

Lasagna sheets

Serves 6

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Cook the sausages and then put on some kitchen paper to drain off any excess fat. Once they are cool, chop them into discs (or however you want them) and set them aside. Defrost the peas and set them aside as well. Pour some oil into a saucepan and then cook the onions until translucent. Then add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes before adding the herbs. Pour in the passata and season to taste. Add sun dried tomato paste if you are using it. Let the sauce cook for about 10 minutes, meanwhile start on the béchamel sauce. Put the milk, onion, parsley and bay leaves into a saucepan on medium - low heat. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain it and keep the milk in a separate container (throw the onion and herbs away). 
Melt the butter in a saucepan and then add the flour. Stir for about 2 minutes before slowly adding the herb infused milk. Add a bit at a time and keep stiring with a whisk. It will probably look horrible and you will think you have messed it up and will be tempted to throw it away. DON'T. Just keep adding milk and stiring. If you run out of milk, just add normal plain milk until it becomes a nice smooth sauce. Turn off the heat and set the sauce aside.
Add your peas and sausages to the tomato sauce and give it a good mix. Let it heat up for a while but not too long otherwise the sausages will go soggy.
Now it's time to assemble the lasagna! 
1. Start with a thin layer of tomato sauce in your oven proof dish
2. Put the lasagna sheets on top of that layer of sauce going in the direction that is shown in the photo
3. Add some béchamel sauce and some mozzarella 
4. Put more tomato sauce on the layer of béchamel, then add more lasagna sheets going in a different direction to the first layer of lasagna sheets. Keep alternating with each layer
5. The very last layer will be lasagna sheets and then béchamel and cheese (mozzarella and parmesan this time). At this point, you should have used all of the tomato sauce. 
Bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes and then leave it to cool for a while before serving, so that it doesn't collapse. We didn't do this step because we were starving.

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