A tasty lasagna made with beef, mushrooms, tomatoes, oregano, basil, red wine and a combination of Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Ideal served with a crisp salad on the side.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion—finely chopped
7 oz (200g) lean ground beef
7 oz (200g) sliced mushrooms (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic—finely chopped
14 oz (420g) canned tomatoes—chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups milk
4 tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour)
½ cup grated mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt
8 oz (240g) lasagna sheets


PREHEAT the oven to 200°C/400°F. HEAT the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and cook the onion for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. ADD the ground beef, mushrooms and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mince browns evenly. ADD the red wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, salt and pepper and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes while you make the cheese sauce. HEAT 1 ¾ cups of the milk in a saucepan over a medium-high heat until almost boiling. MIX together the remaining ¼ cup of milk with the cornstarch until well combined. STIR the cornstarch mixture into the hot milk in the saucepan and continue stirring until thick and creamy. STIR in the grated cheeses and salt until well combined. SPOON a little of the meat sauce into the bottom of a baking dish and top with lasagna sheets. SPOON some more meat sauce on top, then some of the creamy cheese sauce, then top with lasagna sheets. REPEAT the layers until both sauces and pasta are used up, finishing with a layer of cheese sauce on top. BAKE for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. CUT the lasagna into pieces and sprinkle with a little freshly ground black pepper to serve.

Variation: To make a meatless lasagna, use textured vegetable protein (TVP) to replace the usual ground beef (the mushrooms also add their own unique meatiness.) You can use Cheddar cheese instead of mozzarella in the cheese sauce.

Tips: This recipe makes a generous lasagna which can be assembled up to 1 day ahead and kept, covered, in the fridge until you're ready to bake and serve. Leftovers freeze well.

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