The ultimate makeover: Lasagne

The ultimate makeover: Lasagne

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(18 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 35 mins - 40 mins Cook: 1 hr, 50 mins

Skill level



Serves 6

A lighter version of the family classic that retains its full flavour

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving



For the meat sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 plump garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 250g lean rump steaks, trimmed of fat, thinly sliced, then very finely chopped
  • 250g lean minced pork
  • 100ml red wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g can plum tomatoes
  • tsp ground nutmeg, plus a pinch
  • handful basil leaves, torn

For the layers

  • 300g fresh spinach
  • 1 egg
  • 250g tub ricotta
  • handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 6 wide sheets (about 175g/6oz) no pre-cook lasagne
  • 125g ball mozzarella, preferably buffalo, roughly chopped
  • 50g parmesan, coarsely grated
  • 200g cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • basil leaves and green salad leaves, to serve

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  1. Make the meat sauce: heat oil in a large sauté pan, then tip in onion and fry for 5 mins until golden. Add carrots and garlic, then fry for 2 mins more. Stir in both meats, breaking up the pork with a wooden spoon. Cook over a high heat until the meat is no longer pink and the juices are released. Pour in wine, scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir, then cook for 1-2 mins until the liquid is reduced. Tip in tomato purée, tomatoes and 2 tbsp water, then stir to break up tomatoes. Add ½ tsp nutmeg and some pepper, cover, then simmer for 1 hr, stirring occasionally. Taste and add salt if you like. Mix in torn basil. Sauce can be chilled for up to 1 day.
  2. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the other layers. Tip the spinach into a large bowl and pour over boiling water. After 30 secs, tip spinach into a colander and put under cold running water briefly to cool. Squeeze to remove excess water. Beat the egg in a bowl, then mix with ricotta, parsley, a pinch of nutmeg and pepper. Soak the lasagne sheets in a single layer in boiling water for 5 mins. (Although the packet says no pre-cook, I find soaking improves the texture.) Drain well. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
  3. Start layering. Spread a few big spoonfuls of sauce to barely cover the base of an ovenproof dish (20 x 29 x 6cm deep). Cover with 2 sheets of lasagne, then spread over half the remaining sauce. Cover with 2 more lasagne sheets, then scatter spinach evenly over. Spread the ricotta mixture on top and cover with 2 more lasagne sheets. Spread with remaining sauce, then scatter over mozzarella and Parmesan to almost cover meat. Top with cherry tomatoes and some pepper, then cover loosely with foil.
  4. Bake for 35 mins, then remove foil and bake 5-10 mins more. Leave for a few mins, then scatter with basil and serve with salad.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2008

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the-huddo's picture

happycook, you should change your name. This recipe works and is lovely!

happycook85's picture
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I was really looking forward to this but when i made it what a disaster! the ricotta sauce totally dried out (even though i used correct heat timing everything!) the texture was horrible! the meat was dry and bland, no taste, very disappointing, nothing like a lasagne is supposed to taste like.

blulou's picture
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This seems like such a great version, unfortunately I found it was a little bland. The rump steak adds nothing to the flavour at quite a high cost, so I think next time I'll use the usual mince steak but use less meat and add more veg to keep the calories down. And I think I'll add the parmesan to the ricotta layer to give that a boost. I will definitely do this again, the topping with the cherry tomatoes and cheese is fantastic and its much lighter overall, I think with a couple of changes this will be the ultimate recipe for me.

shirin's picture

This recipe looks great n Im sure it will taste awesome too,. must try it for my family very sooooooooooooon.

shirin's picture

This recipe looks great n Im sure it will taste awesome too,. must try it for my family very sooooooooooooon.

elaines's picture
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Really good and the ricotta sauce option is dead simple, so much quicker than the bechamel I normally make.

victoriapeel's picture

This looks simply fantastic - I can't wait to make it for my family. Let's hope it tastes as good as it looks. :o)

potsnpans's picture

Delicious, the only thing I changed was the Ricotta for half fat creme fraiche.