Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Beef and Spinach Lasagne

Dear Lasagne,

Thank you for your recent appearance at my table. It was so lovely to see you. You always charm the guests and get along so well with the salad I place you next to. Thank you for being the meal that both my children adore. They raved about you when you were gone and can't wait to have you for dinner again.

So, thank you for being you.


Me x

Beef and Spinach Lasagne
adapted from here
Serves 8 - 10

For the Spinach:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves picked, finely chopped
500g frozen spinach, thawed
1 whole nutmeg, for grating

For the Beef Sauce:
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 stick celery, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
500g ground beef
100ml red wine
4 cups tomato passata
2 fresh bay leaves
2 cloves
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

For the White Sauce:
100g unsalted butter
100g plain flour
1 litre milk
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
150g cheddar cheese

300g instant lasagne noodles

For the Breadcrumbs:
3 slices bread (I used rye bread)
4 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked
2 tablespoons olive oil

Make the Spinach:
Put the oil in a frying pan and heat on medium. Add the garlic and oregano and cook until the garlic is golden. Add the spinach and cook until wilted and all the water has evaporated. Remove from the heat, grated a good amount of nutmeg over and season well. Set aside.

Make the Beef Sauce:
Place the onion, carrot and celery into a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Put the oil in a pan and heat on medium. Add the chopped vegetables and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring. The vegetables should be softened and slightly caramelised. Add the red pepper flakes, garlic and beef and cook until the beef is browned. Increase the heat to high and add the wine. Cook until the wine has been absorbed. Add the tomato passata, 1 cup of water, bay leaves and cloves and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for an hour. The sauce will become rich and thick. If it becomes too dry, add some more water. The sauce needs to be a little on the runny side so that it will cook the noodles. Remove from the heat, add the balsamic vinegar and season to taste. Set aside.

 Make the White Sauce:
Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the flour and whisk to make a paste. Gradually pour the milk in, whisking continuously. Once all the milk is incorporated, cook the sauce until it is thick and smooth. Remove from the heat and add the cheese and a good grating of nutmeg. Stir until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth again. Season to taste. Set aside.

Make the Breadcrumbs:
Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until they are a fine crumb. Heat a large frying pan to medium and fry the crumbs until golden. Set aside.

Assemble the Lasagne:
Preheat the oven to 180F (350C).

Spoon the spinach into a 25 x 30cm baking dish. Lay one third of the lasagne noodles on top of the spinach, spoon one third of the beef sauce on top of the noodles, and then pour one third of the white sauce over the beef sauce. Repeat two more times until you have three layers, ending with a layer of white sauce.

Bake for 40 minutes, until bubbling and golden. Leave to rest for 20 minutes before serving.

To Serve:
Cut into generous pieces and sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs. Serve extra breadcrumbs along side.


  1. There's nothing like a good lasagna and by the sounds of it this one is a hit. Lovely.

  2. Wow… So lovely! We're big lasagna fans too. Must give this one a try!

  3. It looks like the lasagna that my mum makes that comes from my grand-mother. It's a comfort food +100000000000!! When she's making it and I enter into the house, I instantly knows because of the wonderful smell! How Jamie, love, love, love!!

  4. It's been far too long since I made a lasagna! This looks delicious! I need to check out Jamie's new cookbook STAT!

  5. When I saw the photo on twitter last night I thought some boozy pudding was in the offing. But lasagne is just the best (for breakfast the next day even better).

  6. Long have we held the traditional family lasagne dear to our hearts (well, the hearts of the meat eaters at least) and now you have set me free with a new recipe to delight guests - family and friends alike. Comfort food indeed :)