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This is a family favourite in the Ellson house. I also enjoy making it and inventing new twists in the recipe – I don’t even really follow a recipe anymore as I make it so often! It is a wholesome and healthy meal and a good mix of carbohydrates, protein and fat.

Bea (aged 9): “I love the mince and yummy cheese and am always excited to eat it!”

Georgina (also aged 9): “I always finish it because it’s so good and looks like it’s from a café *; I like the different things you put in each time; also you can’t taste the veggies”.

(*promise these are not my words!)

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • I medium zucchini
  • 1 medium carrot
  • Small handful fresh greens – I use kale or spinach
  • 50g olive oil
  • 400g grass fed beef or lamb mince
  • 100g pumpkin – pre cooked
  • 350g tomato (passata) sauce – 100% whole crushed tomatoes
  • Small handful baby tomatoes
  • Pasta lasagne sheets
  • Grated cheddar and parmesan cheese
For the béchamel (white) sauce:
  • 500g milk (I use full fat)
  • 50g flour (I normally use plain white flour here, but gluten free option is to use corn or rice flour).
  • 50g butter
  • Pinch salt

Method

  • Finely chop the onion, garlic, zucchini, carrot and greens – add the oil – and stir fry lightly in a large pan for 2-3 mins.
  • Add the mince and tomato sauce, season with salt and pepper; mix all ingredients, heat until bubbling then simmer for 10-15 mins.
  • In a separate pan, add the milk, flour, butter and salt; stir together well with a whisk until smooth; heat for 8-10 mins on a medium heat, or until it thickens.
  • Assemble the lasagne layers in a large rectangular oven proof dish – grease first with butter. Place the lasagne sheets first, then a layer of the cooked mince and baby tomatoes (chopped in half) and cover with white sauce and light sprinkle of parmesan. Next layer – cooked pumpkin, then more mince and white sauce. Final layer pasta and white sauce and more grated cheese – cheddar and parmesan. The order of everything is not essential so do experiment here with the number of layers depending on the size of the dish and how artistic you are feeling!
  • Bake in oven 180 degrees for 30 to 45 mins. I normally turn it up a bit at the end to make the top go all brown and crispy.
  • Serve with garden peas or salad if cold.

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