No-Frills Lasagna

Ok so it’s been a bit of a hiatus since my last post. But I’m still alive if anyone was wondering…. 🙂

I think the first time I ever ate lasagna was at the long-defunct/extinct Milano’s at Thomson Plaza. It was with my elder brother and I think I was about 8 or 9 then. Mind you, having pizza back in the 80s was considered quite a bit of a treat, considering you could still get hawker food for about $1.50 and pizzas back then already cost close to 20 bucks. It’s a pity that Milano’s has shut down(I think it was in the early 90s or so) because they were actually one of the few local joints that served rather decent pizzas and pastas(none of the upstarts back then like P**** Fr**** or P**** H** crap came close to it in terms of quality and price). So I was actually quite disappointed when I heard about it closing down.

Anyway, back to the subject of lasagna….I didn’t know what kind of dish it was until it came to our table and I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful combination of a gooey mess of melted cheese, minced beef and pasta coming together quite nicely in my palate.

What can I say? Fattening food always tastes good!

So here’s a recipe I kind of concocted whilst trying to finish up the leftovers of lasagna noodles from my previous experiment. This time round, it tastes a lot better(mainly because I parboiled the lasagna noodles this time despite the packet saying no need to pre-cook but you really can’t trust these instructions all the time).

Then again, it’s hardly rocket science once you’re familiar with cooking estimates. Anyway, instead of pure beef, I’ve made a half and half mixture of beef and pork… and it’s actually yummier than just pure minced beef trust me!

Ingredients:

150 g minced beef

150 g minced pork

1 bottle of Prego Fresh Mushroom Pasta sauce

Chopped garlic

100 ml beef stock (I used Campbell’s)

Italian Herb seasoning (about 1-2tsp)

1/2 tsp Parsley seasoning

Black pepper to taste (the more the merrier)

Lasagna Sheets (I used the 20cm by 5 cm ones)

Parmesan cheese

Mozzarella cheese

Marinade for beef and pork:

2 tbsp Soya sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp pepper

Dash of sugar

Instructions:

Marinate the minced beef and pork and leave in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Stir-fry the garlic over low heat for about 30 seconds till it turns fragrant. Add in the marinated minced beef and pork and stir fry till till 3/4 cooked. You will see liquid coming out of the meat but don’t panic. Add in the beef stock, let simmer for 1 minute, then add in the Prego sauce. Cook for about 2-3 more minutes, add the italian herb, parsley and black pepper to taste. It should actually be quite salty already considering you’ve added the stock and the sauce and there really isn’t any need to add more salt at this point in time. The meat sauce should be done after the short simmer.

In the meantime, parboil the lasagna noodles in boiling water in a wok (it only takes about less than a minute otherwise it’ll disintegrate). Remove the sheets.

In a 20 cm by 20 cm square tin, scoop the prepared meat sauce into the pan until it about covers the surface area(don’t go crazy making sure the meat covers every corner otherwise you might run out of meat sauce too fast). Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the meat sauce, then mozzarella cheese(you can choose to go crazy at this point if you’re a cheese lover). Cover the cheese with a piece of lasagna noodle (you need to cut the noodle to fit it in the square tin). Repeat for the next few layers until all the meat is used up(I made about 4 layers altogether). You should end off with a pasta noodle and parmesan and mozzarella cheese right at the top.

Stick it in the oven at 220 degrees celsius for about 20 minutes until you see the melted cheese crust turning into a lovely golden brown. Remove and serve.

As someone I know would say…”Absolutely delicious daaahling!”

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