Frying-pan Lasagne

The perfect recipe for students, this economical and delicious one-pan lasagne is easy and doesn't require any complicated equipment or expensive ingredients.

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Introduction

I love lasagne, but baking a dish of layered pasta, homemade white sauce, bolognese, cheese and sometimes tomatoes as well seems like far too much effort on a weeknight. You can make this lasagne in one frying pan, using leftovers, in less than half an hour. I've made this to serve two as this is as much as can possibly be fitted into a frying pan. However, halving the quantities to serve just you does not make it any easier to prepare, and this way you'll have a portion for another day.

Makes 2 portions
Easy

Ingredients

light oil
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
6 dried lasagne sheets
2 portions of Sausage Bolognese (see below)
2 mozzarella balls
For the sausage bolognese:
light oil
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
100ml chicken or beef stock (made with ½ stock cube)
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tsp dried oregano
a large pinch of golden caster sugar
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
450g sausage meat
230ml red wine
1 tbsp tomato purée

Instructions

For the sausage bolognese (makes 4 portions): 

1. Heat a generous splash of light oil in the bottom of a large saucepan over a medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes until the pieces have started to soften, but they have not yet started to brown.

2. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes until the garlic is soft, but again, don't let it start to brown (brown garlic is burnt garlic).

3. Add the sausage meat, breaking it into pieces with the back of your mixing spoon, stirring every few minutes. The sausage meat should start to break up like mince meat as it cooks.

4. Once the sausage meat is cooked through, add the stock, wine, tinned tomatoes, tomato purée, oregano, a good pinch of sugar and a generous seasoning of salt and black pepper. To get the last of the goodness out of the tomato tin, pour a little of the wine or stock into the tin and swill it around before adding it to the saucepan.

5. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, and allow the sauce to simmer, without a lid, for 55 minutes. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, taste a little bit of the sauce to check the seasoning. Add more pepper if you think it needs a bit more flavour. More salt will help if you think the sauce tastes a little bland, and a bit more sugar will round out the sauce if it tastes too acidic. 

For the frying-pan lasagne:

I. Fill a medium frying pan with a heatproof handle two-thirds full with boiling water. Add a generous pinch of salt, the Lasagne sheets, halved, and a splash of oil. Cook for about 12 to 15 minutes over a high heat (stirring occasionally to stop the pasta sticking to the bottom of the pan) until the pasta is al dente. and drain. While the pasta is cooking, tear the mozzarella into bite-sized pieces.

2. Preheat the grill to 250°Cf485°F. Return the pasta to the pan along with the bolognese. Return to the heat, turned down to medium, and stir until everything is combined and the sauce is bubbling. Stir in half of the cheese until it starts to melt, then remove the pan from the heat.

3. Top with the rest of the cheese and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Put the pan under the grill for 4 to 5 minutes, until the cheese is starting to brown and bubble, a nd the exposed bits of pasta are beginning to go a little crispy.

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