My husband rarely cooks (ever since whipping up a wedding proposal meal 4 years ago but I fell asleep due to jet lag, oops!) but when he does, he cooks with his heart and soul and he delivers comfort food. It’s quite fun seeing him getting busy in the kitchen with an apron on because he’s so focused working on his dish as though he’s in some sort of a MasterChef competition. Then he went complaining about his lumpy white sauce before redoing the whole lot because he just wanted to make it perfect for me. I truly treasure such rare moments because I can just sit by the dining table and chill out as he takes charge of the cooking. This lasagne was something that he just came up with and I merely helped to assemble the layers in the oven dish (and at the same time sneaked in more cheese!). The result? It was scrumptious!!! I should have jotted down the exact amounts of the various ingredients and the methods that he did on the spot so these were from the best of my memory. The chef himself vetted and gave his thumb of approval 🙂
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 box 250g oven ready lasagne sheets (we used Barilla brand)
400g lean minced beef
1 large onion, finely diced
200g white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 large tomatoes, finely chopped
60g tomato paste
250g cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup water
salt & freshly cracked black pepper
White sauce (béchamel):
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
2 cups milk
100g cream cheese (we used Laughing Cow cheese wedges)
1. Gently heat up the milk in a small pot till hot but not boiling.
2. In a pan, melt the butter till foamy. Add in the flour and stir till smooth. Slowly whisk in the hot milk and then add cream cheese. Stir till well combined. Set the white sauce aside till ready to use.
3. Preheat oven to 180 deg C with fan.
4. In a separate pan, heat some olive oil and saute the onions till soft. Add in the minced beef and stir fry till meat is no longer pink.
5. Add mushrooms, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and water. Bring to a boil and simmer till the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper.
6. To assemble the lasagne, spread the meat mixture on the bottom of an oven dish (we used a 10″ x 7″ dish) and then cover with lasagne sheets (in one layer – it’s fine to overlap) on top. Pour the white sauce over the lasagne sheets and then scatter a handful of cheddar cheese on top. Repeat the same steps to form another two layers till you fill the dish to the brim. Ensure the top surface is well covered with cheese.
7. Bake for 30-40 mins till you get a crispy cheesy crust on top.
Normally, the white sauce is just a roux of butter and flour cooked in milk but in order to make it more cheesy, the husband decided to add in cream cheese to give it an even more robust flavour.
End result should look like this when you remove the dish from the oven. We just loved that cheesy crust on top! And when you bite into it, it’s just delicious!
The inside was so moist (but not soggy) that it was impossible to slice up the lasagne into pieces for plating but rather we had to scoop each serving up with a ladle. And even though this portion was meant for 4 persons, it was so good that we actually devoured the whole thing for dinner and supper.
If you are not a big cheese lover or you’re watching your calories, then skip adding cheese in between the layers and just sprinkle enough for the top to make a nice golden crust. Also, you can omit the cream cheese from the white sauce.
Overall, it’s a dish well done. Hubby, I’m proud of you 🙂