Hi guys! I love cooking - glad you started this comm Hedgie :)
Trayce's lasagne that makes Robot's belly very happy. I never work to recipes, so notating this is proving to be a bit odd! I didn't realise how much there was to it :)
approx 500g beef mince (or a mix of beef and pork mince if you like)
1/2 bottle of tomato passata (or a can of diced tomatoes+ some tomato paste)
1/2-1 cup red wine (optional, to taste)
approx 1 cup of beef or chicken stock (also optional, depends on how long you want to cook the sauce for, this just adds liquid)
1 small-medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
quarter capsicum, diced
1 stick celery,diced
2 small/1 large carrot, grated
handful of field mushrooms, sliced or chopped up as preferred
herbs dried or fresh to taste (I like to use the masterfoods bolognese herbs mix, but fresh oregano is also tasty)
(cheats version: mince, onion, and a bottle of leggos/dolmio chunky bolognese sauce if you're in more of a hurry)
1 pack of fresh lasagne sheets (this is key: instant lasagne never comes out too good)
2tbps butter or margarine
2 tbsps plain flour
approx 1 cup milk
salt + pepper
cheese to taste (eg a mix of cheddar and parmesan is good)
Make your bolognese sauce ahead of time as much as feasible, especially if you're making it from scratch. You want at least an hour for it to cook down and develop the flavours.
In a large frypan or pot big enough to make the sauce in (ie with sides on it), start by frying off the onion in a little oil til it softens down and browns a little, then add the garlic, capsicum, mushrooms and celery, and gently fry til soft. Don't let it burn - burnt garlic tastes horrible.
Scoop the veggie mix back out of the pan and put aside in a little bowl or plate. Add a little more oil to the pan, bring the heat right up, and then fry/brown off the mince. A trick an old nonna taught me was to cook the mince until all of the water comes out of it and evaporates: this can take some time, I can't usually be bothered. Once the mince is fully browned, add the red wine, and simmer off the alcohol for a minute or two. Then chuck the cooked veggies back in, add the grated carrot and then the tomato passata/chopped tomatoes and a little stock for liquid, stir it all together, add herbs and seasonings, bring the heat right down, and simmer on a very slow flame for at least 45 minutes. An hour or longer is better if you have the time - keep an eye on it if you do this however, you may need to top up the liquid and stir it now and then to prevent burning.
Cheats version: just brown off the mince with some diced onion, throw in a bottle of that Dolmio bolognese sauce, simmer for 30 mins :) Tasty, but you didn't do it all yrself now did you! Easier for weeknights though ;)
OK so now you have your bolognese ready to use. Get the oven going at about 180degC and get a lasagne dish out (for this volume, I find my large square dish fits it all, with about 2-3 layers. You could use 2 smaller rectangle dishes or 1 rectangle dish with heaps of layers). While the oven is heating up and the bolognese is cooling off a little, make the bechamel sauce. I'm really no good at notating this: I dont measure anything, I just wing it, so if you have your own way of making white/cheese sauce feel free to use your method. Mine is basically thus:
Melt butter (1-2 tbps) in a small saucepan, then add equal amount of plain flour, and briskly stir into a roux til well combined. Then add the milk while stirring - 1 to 1 1/2 cups, depending on how thick you want the sauce to be (less milk, thicker sauce). You'll be best off whisking it with a balloon whisk at this point if you have one, or a fork. Stand over it and stir it throughly and gently on a low heat until it thickens and comes to a simmer. Don't stop stirring it, or you will end up with a lumpy burnt mess. Once it has come to simmering point it wont thicken any further. If too thick at that point add some hot water or warm milk to thin it out. Then stir in your cheese and seasonings to taste (maybe a handful in the sauce and another for sprinkling on top after assembly).
Now assemble your lasagne as desired: start with a layer of lasagne sheet, then a layer of meat sauce, then sprinkle some grated cheeses, repeat a couple more times til you run out of stuff, then top off with a layer of the bechamel sauce and more cheese. Maybe some breadcrumbs too if you like a crunchy top.
Bung into the oven and bake for about 20-30 mins. Then stuff face =)
Awesome with garlic bread and maybe a nice leafy green salad with a balsamic/oil dressing, if you like salad with your meal. Makes enough to feed at least 4 people as a main (6 if you added sides).