Monday, 29 August 2011

As comfortable as curling up between two sheets of lasagne

upComfort is something I know a great deal about. If there is a stretch waist within a ten foot radius - I will slither myself straight into them. I'm like an airport drug beagle with a lust for the casual. When you stumble across me on holiday my uniform is loose and you better believe it, my appetite is even looser. The words "Whatever, I'm on vacation!" are on continual loop all the days I am away...and for a few thereafter. I like to eat and I love to eat good food. Food is to be enjoyed, to be shared, to some days even be devoured. The weather outside generally determines what I put on my families plates. I like to be crammed full of warm over indulgent coma inducing home style comfort food on cold and ugly winter evenings. And if you follow that up with a freshly out of the oven self saucing pudding, I could live out the rest of my days in a morbidly obese bliss. 

With my residing country currently being hampered with a winter chill and my time to construct daily dinners at a minimum, I like to ensure left-overs are present. This lasagne can be made big or small, vegetarian or not - you make the call - but no matter what you do, your belly will thank you for the comfort you are filling it with.

Make a tasty sauce by browning up some ground pork/lamb/veggie meat or just the following vegetables - onion, garlic, mushrooms, peppers/capsicums and I like to grate in a carrot for another hit of your 5+ a day. Once everything starts to get a bit soft throw in two cans of tomatoes - I like at least one of those to be whole peeled. Start to get your simmer on. Add whatever seasoning you are in to. You could do some thyme, oregano, basil, italian parsley, sage. I did a smokey chipotle, chilli, basil, oregano and the obvious salt and pepper. Let this get nice and rich - doesn't need to be too thick though - extra liquid will aid in the pasta cooking. In a bowl make up a mix of spinach and ricotta (200g tub) - salt and pepper that also. 

Once your sauce has some flavour, you can start your layers. I like to use a wholemeal lasagne sheet that needs no precooking. Start with a bit of sauce, pasta, sauce, pasta, spinach mix, pasta, rest of sauce and a sprinkle of cheese. These are not rules. Do as you wish. 

Cover with foil and cook at 200c until the pasta is fork tender - roughly 40 minutes with the foil on and another 10 minutes without to crisp up the top.  

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