This lasagne is rich and decadent and the perfect meal to come home to on a cold winter evening. The combination of a crispy and cheesy topping with a sweet and chunky filling and a hint of cinnamon create a sweet and aromatic flavour to tantalise your taste buds
For the sauce:
1 Red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
4 celery stalks, sliced
3 Italian sausages (casing removed, just the ground meat)
2 lbs ground beef
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic salt
3 fresh basil leaves, diced
¾ cup of red wine
1 small can tomato paste
3 cans diced tomatoes
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp heavy cream
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp black pepper
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
For the Lasagne:
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 large container of ricotta cheese (2 quarts)
2 eggs, beaten
1 lb mozzarella cheese, grated
2 packets dried lasagne Sheets (2 lbs)
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 basil leaves, diced
½ cup Parmesan for garnish
It’s an easy cooking with coconut oil!
Preheat the oven to 180° C
Add the CocoPacific Raw Virgin Coconut Oil and onions to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Stir until the onions are just translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add the garlic, carrots and celery to the pan and cook until half-way tender, about 4 minutes. Do not let the garlic burn.
Add the sausage meat to the pan and break up with your spoon. Cook for about 1 minute until the sausage is broken up completely and begins to brown.
Add the ground beef to the pan and break up with your spoon. Cook for about 5 minutes until all of the beef is broken up and is almost cooked through.
Add the oregano, dried basil, fresh basil, garlic salt and wine to the pan. Stir to combine and cook until the wine has absorbed into the meat, about 4 minutes, stirring continuously.
Add the tomato paste, canned tomatoes and cinnamon to the pan. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring continuously, until the tomato juice has been absorbed, and the tomato paste coats all of the meat.
Turn the heat to medium-low and add the cream, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and then allow to slowly simmer for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil the lasagne Sheets according to their package instructions (about 10 mins) until tender but still firm; then drain and set aside. Do not over boil.
In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs and Parmesan with the ricotta cheese.
Coat a baking pan (13in by 9in) with melted CocoPacific Raw Virgin Coconut Oil
Arrange 4 Lasagne sheets across the pan lengthwise, overlapping them slightly. Add 1 Lasagne Sheet on each end going the opposite direction, to form a solid base.
Spread half of the ricotta/Parmesan/egg mixture over the first layer of Lasagne Sheets
Spread about 2 cups (or enough to cover the whole pan) of the meat sauce on top of the ricotta.
Top with ½ of the mozzarella.
Top with 1 cup of fresh spinach leaves.
Add another layer of the meat sauce.
Top with another layer of Lasagne Sheets, overlapping them slightly again.
Repeat this process again (Ricotta layer, meat layer, mozzarella layer, spinach layer, meat layer.
Top the whole lasagne with the final layer of Lasagne Sheets
Spoon a ladle of sauce over the Lasagne Sheets so they are just covered and moist.
Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and another ½ cup of Parmesan over the top of the lasagne. Sprinkle on the fresh basil leaves.
Tap the top of the lasagne and the sides of the pans to settle the meat and get rid of air.
Bake for about 1 hour until the top is crispy and brown.
Serve with garlic bread and a crisp green leaf salad with a touch of vinaigrette or light dressing.
A glass of Chianti or Montepulciano d’Abruzzo will compliment this perfectly. Cheers!
If you wish to learn more about cooking with coconut oil – check our recipes!