A recipe that takes a bit of effort, but the results are well worth the time 'cos you can tweak the ingredient amounts to your liking. More mushrooms and more cheese, please!
Serves 4-6 with a simple side salad
For the ragu/meat sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
300g ground beef
250g fresh white button mushrooms, sliced
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
4 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
For the white sauce:
2 bay leaves
150-200g grated cheddar cheese (I like lots of cheese)
Uncooked lasagna sheets
1. Heat olive oil in pan. Fry minced garlic till fragrant. Add in ground beef, season with salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning. Cook till browned, about 5 mins. Remove beef from pan, draining any excess liquid.
2. Fry mushrooms in pan with remaining tablespoon of Italian seasoning. Add beef, drained tomatoes and tomato paste to pan. Cook until liquid has reduced to a thick sauce.
1. Melt butter in saucepan. Add flour and mix till you get a thick paste. Gradually add milk, stirring frequently as mixture thickens. This will take a while, but it will happen as the flour cooks.
1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. Lightly oil a 18x24cm deep dish pan.
3. Add alternate layers of meat sauce, white sauce, grated cheese and lasagne sheets. You should be able to get in about 3 layers of lasagne sheets. Finish off with a final layer lasagna sheets, white sauce and cheese. (See photos below)
Bake in preheated oven for about 30-40 mins. The cheese should be golden brown and bubbling slightly, mmmm...
Since many people have asked, the texture is between a very light sponge cake and steamed pudding, with a finer crumb than baked cakes. Difficult to describe but try it, it's addictive!
Google explains why: When steamed, a cake never gets hot enough to caramelize (go through the Maillard reaction), contrary to when baking which will brown a cake. Also, where baking dries out a cake, steaming will keep it moist.
Recipe edits: Reduced sugar to 150g, used melted blackberry jam as a simple glaze on cooled cake.
Verdict: I love these two-bowl recipes. One bowl for wet ingredients, one for dry. Takes about half the time of a regular baked cake to prepare. Which also means can eat cake sooner.