This lasagne dish is popular in our house as a different alternative to beef lasagne. This recipe using dried tarragon rather than oregano, so enhancing the sense of difference.
For the meat filling:
2 packets (450g each) of sausage meat
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of dried tarragon
150ml wine wine
1 chicken stock cube, finely chopped
750g tomato sauce (plain tomato pasta sauce in a jar works fine)
1 tablespoon plain flour
2-4 sheet fresh lasagne sheets (usually 8 in a packet)
Serves 3-4 depending on the size of the lasagne dish you use.
For the white sauce:
100g plain flour
2 pints of milk (approximately equivalent to 1 litre of milk)
250g grated cheese sauce - optional.
Note 1: We prefer to make the sauce cheese-y but you can make it as a straight bechamel sauce, if you prefer, adding a pinch of grated nutmeg instead of the cheese.
Note 2: This quantity of sauce ingredients is sufficient to make two small lasagnes - for example, one vegetarian lasagne and one meat lasagne (with each dish measuring about 20cm x 15cm in size) and serving 2-3 each. If you are making a vegan lasagne alongside the sausage meat lasagne you will need to either make a separate sauce for the vegan lasagne or you can cook one vegan-friendly sauce and split it between the two lasagnes, To make the sauce vegan-friendly, replace the dairy milk with sweetened soya milk or other plant-based milk instead of dairy milk, and using grated nutmeg instead of the grated cheese. This will allow you to make one saucepan of sauce and split it between the meat and the vegan lasagne.
Instructions for making the sausage meat filling:
Heat the olive oil gently in the base of a sauteuse pan, add the onions and fry over a low heat until softening. Add the chopped garlic and the sausage meat. Break the sausage meat up into bits using a wooden spoon. Sauté the meat with the onions and garlic until the meat is starting to brown.
Add the plain flour, and mix it through. Sauté for a minute. Add the white wine with the dried tarragon and the chicken stock cube, and simmer gently until the wine has been absorbed.
Add the red tomato sauce, and mix in. Gently heat through. Set the mixture aside whilst you make the white sauce.
Instructions for making the white sauce:
Chop the butter into pieces and melt in a non-stick saucepan over a low heat. Keep the heat low. Add the flour, and mix in vigorously so it becomes thick and almost like a ball. Add the milk, a little at a time (e.g. two tablespoons at a time), and each time mix the milk into the mixture vigorously - making sure the mixture doesn't have any lumps. It will go into a ball each time, but as you add more milk, it will gradually become a looser smooth mixture, and turn into a sauce.
Add this point, add the grated cheese if you are using this. Allow the heat to melt the cheese, and keep stirring the sauce. Don't allow the sauce to burn on the bottom or to bubble up to the top of the saucepan. Take the saucepan off the heat when the cheese is melted in, and set aside.
If you are using nutmeg instead of cheese, add the pinch of nutmeg instead of the cheese at this point, then setting it aside off the heat.
Instructions for making up the lasagne:
Grease a lasagne dish with a little butter. I usually use a piece of kitchen roll to spread the butter all over the base and the sides.
Put half the sausage meat mixture in the base of the lasagne dish. Put 1-3 fresh lasagne sheets (depending on the size of your dish and the size of your lasagne sheets) and then spoon white/cheese sauce over the top of the lasagne sheets. Use enough to give it a thick coating but make sure you have enough sauce for the next layer of the lasagne (the top) - and the veggie lasagne if you are making that as well.
Spoon the remainder of the sausage meat mixture over the white sauce layer.
This image shows the lasagne before you put the second/top layer of lasagne sheets over the top.
Place 1-2 more fresh lasagne sheets on top of the meat mixture, and then spoon more white/cheese over the top of the lasagne sheets as the final layer. Sprinkle a light layer of grated cheese over the top if you wish.
Bake it in the oven on the middle shelf at 180C/Gas Mark 4 for about 40 minutes. (If you are using dried lasagne sheets you will need to allow longer.)