Simon Gault – Mum’s Easy Spinach and Sausage Lasagna

NZ Chef

Mum and Dad both cooked for us and were really keen foodies; I was Chief Taster. Lasagna is often considered everyday food but when Mum made this one it was a real treat, one of those recipes you just look forward to when she says she’s cooking it. Even my daughter asks for it now, so she has both Mum and I cooking it for her. It’s nice to be carrying on the tradition when I make it.

— Simon Gault

Image of Easy Spinach and Sausage Lasagna

Easy Spinach and Sausage Lasagna

Ingredients

For the creamed spinach:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 litres cream
  • 500g frozen whole leaf spinach, defrosted, squeezed dry, and finely chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Flaky salt
  • White pepper, freshly ground

For the meat:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped (remove the seeds if you wish to reduce the heat)
  • 500g pork sausage meat
  • 2 tbsp Simon Gault Italian seasoning

For the mushrooms:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 200g button mushrooms, thinly sliced

For the sauce:

  • 500ml passata
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar

To assemble:

  • 1 x 400g packet of fresh pasta sheets
  • 1 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 230g tasty cheese (or another Cheddar-style cheese), grated
  • 50g Parmesan, finely grated

Let’s Cook

Prepare the creamed spinach:

Melt butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add onion and cook for 10-12 minutes until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally. Add cream and gently bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until cream is reduced by half.

Stir in spinach then blend roughly with a stick blender. Stir in milk slowly until spinach is the consistency of thick custard. Season with nutmeg, flaky salt, and freshly ground white pepper.

Prepare the meat:

Heat oil and butter in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add garlic and chili and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Add sausage meat and Italian seasoning and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up larger lumps, until browned and cooked through. Transfer cooked meat to a bowl and set aside.

Prepare the mushrooms:

In the pan you’ve just cooked the meat in, melt butter on a medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook for about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender and reduced to one-third their original volume.

Prepare the sauce:

Stir all ingredients together to mix.

To assemble:

Preheat oven to 180°C. Place pasta sheets into a large heat proof dish and pour over enough hot water to cover by 2cm. Let soak for 10 minutes, then drain.

Grease a medium-sized deep ovenproof dish with butter or olive oil. Line the dish with a single layer of pasta, draping the sheet/s all the way up the sides of the dish. Spread a thin layer of sauce onto the bottom. Spoon over one quarter of the spinach and top with a handful of tasty cheese. Cover the mixture with a pasta sheet that fits neatly inside without draping up the sides (cut the pasta to make it fit if needed). Spoon on one third of the remaining sauce, half of the meat, and one third of the remaining spinach in layers. Top with another handful of tasty cheese and a layer of pasta. Spoon on half of the remaining sauce, the remaining meat, and half of the remaining spinach in layers. Top with another handful of tasty cheese and a layer of pasta. For the final layer, spoon on the remaining sauce then the remaining spinach. Sprinkle the mushrooms on top and then the Parmesan.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden on top and bubbling. Let lasagna stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Tips:

  • The creamed spinach is delicious as a side dish so you could make it on its own then serve with chicken or steak. The secret is the nutmeg, so don’t skip it

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