How To Make A Lasagne In 20 Minutes Flat When You Forgot Your Mates Were Coming Over
The Debrief: Don't even worry about it, it's only been in the diary for a month
A good lasagne takes ages to make. You need to make the pasta by hand and source the right cheese. If you’re going for a meaty version you'll need to let it simmer and bubble away for a while, and then there’s the béchamel sauce...
Or, you could just make lasagne in a frying pan.
Think about it, all four of those elements I’ve just mentioned you can buy pretty great quality versions of in the refrigerated section of most supermarkets, and let us be honest, you don’t really even need the béchamel. It’s basically just flour, butter and water, so won’t we all just be better off by replacing it with more oozy, melted cheese? More cheese is always the answer.
You can have a big pan of lasagne to serve up to the table, family style along with some garlic bread and a good bottle of red wine (or three) in about 20 minutes by buying in just meat, cheese and pasta. You can also soup it up a bit with whatever you happen to have hanging around. Adding a good glug of red wine while you’re heating through the bolognese sauce will add depth and make your sauce richer, and a good sprinkling of dried oregano will up the whole Italian feel. You can sprinkle the finished dish with parmesan and bung it under a blistering hot grill for a quick, crunchy cheese topping. You can fit a portion for two people (below) in one average large sized pan. You can stretch it to four people with sides (add a salad too), or double it up if you have a super large pan.
6 Sheets Fresh or Dried Lasagna Pasta
300-350g Bolognese Sauce
2 Fresh Mozzarella Balls
Cook the pasta sheets in a large pan of salted water until they’re tender, stirring occasionally to stop them sticking together in a big lump. If you are using fresh sheets, just skip this step. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over a medium heat, warm up the bolognese sauce, also stirring occasionally.
Drain the pasta sheets well, and fold them into the sauce. This is when you add the fresh sheets, if you’re using them instead. Tear up one of the mozzarella balls and sprinkle the cheese over the sauce, allowing it to melt. Stir in the melted cheese until it is gooey and stringy, and repeat with the second ball. Serve straight up so everyone can help themselves.
If you've got a bit more time to spare...
If you’re more of a make-it-homemade type of person, or you like the idea of making your lasagne in a frying pan and you didn’t forget you were supposed to be making one, if possible this dish is even better if you make your own (still easy) meaty sauce.
In a large saucepan, heat a good splash of oil over a medium heat and gently fry one large onion and a large carrot, chopped into tiny pieces, a crushed garlic clove and three rashers of streaky bacon, snipped into small pieces with a pair of scissors, until the carrots are soft, the bacon is slightly brown and the onions are golden.
Add 300g of beef mince to the pan and break it up with a wooden spoon. Fry for about 5 minutes until the meat has browned, then add 75ml beef stock, 100ml red wine, a good squidge of tomato puree, a pinch of sugar, a good sprinkling of dried oregano, and a small (half sized) tin of tomatoes. Season well and allow to bubble away for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
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