The recipe, Not Your Usual Lasagna, is a recipe originally shared by one of our star rugby players, Bryan Habana in the cookbook Springbok Kitchen for his version of a quick Lasagna.
I have made it a couple of times, differently each time. This is by far the tastiest of my experiments - it is very filling, but somehow we managed to really over-stuff ourselves. You know, it's one of those recipes where you just can't stop - same as starting with caramel peanuts or popcorn .. you start and don't stop until the whole packet is gone!
I had planned to make a quick dessert afterwards, but halfway through dinner, we all decided against having a dessert as well .. now this does not happen very often at our house !
Not Your Usual Lasagna
1 Large Onion, chopped
2 TB Olive Oil
250g Bacon Bits (for this recipe - the bigger the chunks, the better)
750g Lean Ground Beef
1 cup Beef Stock
2 TB Tomato Paste
1 1/2 t Paprika
1 t Meat Spice (your favorite)
1 Large Tomato, peeled and chopped
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
500g Rotini (Spiral) Pasta
2 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese, grated
6 TB Butter
6 TB Flour
3 cups Milk
1.) Saute the Onion in the Oil until light brown and soft - add the Bacon Bits and fry 2 - 3 minutes - add the Ground Beef and fry until loose and light brown.
2.) Mix the Beef Stock, Tomato Paste, Paprika and Meat Spice - add this mixture together with the chopped Tomato to the meat - stir well, turn down the heat and let simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. (15 - 20 minutes). When done, season with Salt and Black Pepper to taste.
3.) Meanwhile cook the Pasta according to the instructions on the packet, pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F) and spray a large oven dish with cooking oil.
4.) Melt the Butter in a microwavable dish (at least 1 liter capacity), stir in the Flour to form a paste - add the Milk little at a time to the paste, scraping the sides and bottom whilst mixing the Paste with the Milk.
5.) Microwave the Milk mixture at full power for 6 - 8 minutes, stirring every 1 1/2 minutes to break up any clumps, until the sauce has thickened.
6.) Once the pasta is cooked, drain and keep aside.
7.) To assemble ; Place half of the Meat mixture on the bottom of the oven dish, followed by half of the pasta, one cup Cheddar cheese and half the White sauce (Layer each addition evenly on top of the other)
8.) Repeat the layers and end with the remaining 1/2 cup of Cheddar cheese - Bake for 20 - 30 minutes until nicely browned.
Serve with a crunchy salad on the side.
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