Easy lamb and ricotta lasagne recipe
This easy lamb and ricotta lasagne recipe is a deviation from the traditional Italian lasagne, but I love its gentle flavours and the lighter ricotta (rather than bechamel sauce).
- 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1cm thick rounds
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large brown onion, diced
- 800g lamb mince
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 cup (125ml) dry red wine
- 1/2 cup (100g) tomato paste
- 2 tins (400g each) chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp oregano leaves
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 500g fresh ricotta
- 100g feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 8 x large Instant Lasagne sheets
- 1/2 cup (40g) parmesan cheese, finely grated
Soak the eggplant in cold water and set aside. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy-based pan over medium heat and cook the onion for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the mince and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring often to brown the meat as much as possible. Stir through the wine, then add the tomato paste, tinned tomatoes, herbs and cinnamon. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, for the eggplant. Remove from the water and pat dry. Cut into cubes. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan and toss the eggplant until golden on all sides. Set aside (on a layer of paper towel). For the ricotta sauce; combine cheeses in a bowl and whisk in the egg. Season to taste.
To assemble, start by spooning 1/2 of the meat mixture in the base of a large baking tray (mine is 35 x 25cm and 5cm deep). Top with half of the eggplant and a layer of the lasagne sheets. Add half of the cheese sauce, then a layer of lasagne sheets, the remaining meat, then eggplant. Place a final layer of lasagne sheets on top of the eggplant, spoon over remaining cheese sauce, scatter with the parmesan and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
- Moisture is the key - always make and use more sauce than you think you’ll need. You will need it! And if you think the lasagne is drying out at all during cooking, there’s no shame in adding a few sloshes of water around the edges. This is usually picked up by the rest of the cooking sauce and will prevent any hard pasta pieces.
- This recipe was created by Sophie Hansen for Kidspot, New Zealand’s best recipe finder. You can follow Sophie on Local is Lovely, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.