I’ve come to realise that there’s cookery book life, and there’s real life. In cookery book life, I’d be slowly simmering a pork and beef ragu, while whisking a home-made bechamel, and pre-soaking lasagne sheets. While that’s definitely the route to the perfect lasagne, it’s hard to fit in to real life. It’s easy to get snooty about ready-made sauces, but quite frankly, without them, dishes such as lasagne just wouldn’t happen on a weeknight. And that would be a shame, as it’s a massive favourite. It’s also really easy to carb-count the portions based on dividing the whole dish, rather than by weighing. So below are little more than assembly instructions, for the real life version of a mid-week lasagne.
Ingredients – serves 4-6:
500g extra-lean beef mince
2 big tablespoons of frozen chopped, peeled onions
half a teaspoon of frozen chopped garlic
1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs
1x 660g jar of good quality bolognese sauce (Loyd Grossman has the lowest sugar content I’ve found so far)
around 200ml low salt beef stock
1x 350g tub of fresh cheese sauce
9 dried green lasagne sheets
a little rapeseed oil, for frying
freshly grated parmesan
Heat a pan with a little rapeseed oil. Fry the onions and garlic straight from the freezer (they’re a bit quicker to cook than fresh), and add the mince. Once it’s properly browned, add the herbs and jar of sauce. Gradually add the stock and leave it to simmer for as long as you can.
Assemble the lasagne with meat sauce first, a layer of the lasagne sheets, and a layer of the cheese sauce. Repeat so that you have three layers altogether.
Make sure the top layer of lasagne is covered with the cheese sauce, and a good sprinkle of parmesan. I don’t go overboard with cheese sauce though, and just use enough to allow the lasagne to cook properly. Partly to keep it lower in fat, and partly because the boys don’t like it too creamy.
Pop it in the oven for around 30-35 mins (until the pasta is cooked and the top is bubbling and crispy), at 180 degrees.
Serve with a big green salad.
one sixth of the lasagne – 54g carbs
one quarter of the lasagne – 80.5g carbs