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Cheat’s Lasagna

Sometimes you just have to have Lasagna. However, making fresh lasagna sheets, béchamel sauce, etc all take a fair amount of time, which if your lasagna craving happens after you get home from work, isn’t always practical (well if you want to eat before midnight that is).

So in these cases, Cheat’s Lasagna comes to the rescue. The real time savers are using burrito tortillas instead of lasagna sheets, and making a béchamel substitute with mascarpone, cream, egg and brandy.


So without further ado, here’s how you do it.

h2. Ingredients.

h3. The Meat Sauce

* 400 g beef mince
* 1 small fennel bulb chopped finely
* 2 celery stalks chopped finely
* 1 spanish (red) onion chopped finely
* 3 large cloves of garlic chopped very finely (or crushed)
* 1 rasher of bacon
* 1 Tablespoon of tomato paste
* 1 can of roma tomatoes
* red wine
* balsamic vinegar
* about a teaspoon of dried basil
* half a dozen green peppercorns
* salt
* quarter teaspoon of cracked black pepper
* 6 small button mushrooms (or equiv. volume in larger sizes)

h3. The White Sauce

* 1 tub (250 g) of mascarpone cheese
* no more than 100 ml of cream (35% milk fat)
* 1 egg
* splash of sherry
* half a splash of cognac or brandy

Additionally you’ll want 6 Burrito (flour) Tortilla’s.

h2. Method.

In a large pot, sauté the onions, garlic, celery and fennel in a little olive oil. When the onion is translucent, add the beef mince and stir well. Brown the mince before adding the sliced mushrooms and other ingredients.
Break up the tinned tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Stir, cover and simmer for about half an hour (stirring occasionally).

Meanwhile, in jug (or bowl), combine the mascarpone and cream, stirring until combined and smooth. Add the egg, stirring in thoroughly, then the sherry and cognac, also stirring in well. Set aside.

The meat sauce is done when the fennel is just tender and there is no excess liquid in the pot (may need to simmer uncovered while stirring for a while). Do not dry out the sauce by removing too much moisture, if you do, splash a bit more wine in it.

To assemble, place a little olive oil in the bottom of a round casserole dish. Spread around so the base is covered.
Place a tortilla in the casserole dish, add a spoon of meat sauce and spread to cover the tortilla. Spoon some white sauce over the meat sauce, then top with a tortilla. Repeat until you’ve used all your meat sauce.
You should have a little white sauce left with which to top the last tortilla. Sprinkle some grated cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, romano, etc) over the top, and bake at 200C for 20 minutes, or until the cheese has browned nicely.

Serve wedges either on their own or with a light leafy salad.

posted to Australian,Italian,Recipes @ 9:45 pm

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Corn, Zucchini, Leek and Bacon Pie | home | “Fiery Death” Hot Chili Sauce