Bacon, Olive and Cheese Loaf Cake
Something different to do as side dishes with everyday vegetables

I recently made a really good lentil ragu which I thought would work well as a lasagna. It did and it was very good indeed.

This led me to think of other vegetable based mixes that I could substitute for the lentil ragu layer. I’ve come up with a long list of possibilities and I’m working my way through them. Lasagna is currently featuring weekly on my meal plan! The first one was a mushroom ragu, flavoured with thyme. Another favourite to add to my folder!  I’ve rounded up all the lasagna I’m doing, plus a few other suggestions, and I’ll be adding to it as we go along. This weeks version uses a beetroot ragu with an unusual addition of orange.

Beetroot Ragu Lasagna

Priced at Asda using mySupermarket, March 2019
Serves 4

Ragu layer

2 tblsp butter, £1.45/250g, 17p
1 large onion, finely chopped, 75p/kg, 8p
2 x 250g pack ready cooked beetroot, 65p each (300g), £1.08
2 clementine or an orange, 30p
2 tsp garlic granules, £1.09/115g, 10p
heaped tsp grainy mustard, 3p
salt and pepper

Bechamel layer

50g butter, Asda £1.45/250g, 29p
50g flour, 2p
500ml milk, £1.09/2.27litres, 24p
fresh grated nutmeg (optional)
a bay leaf or two (optional)
salt and pepper

100g flour (3p) to make pasta or buy lasagna sheets
80g grated cheddar £3.69/825g, 36p

Total cost £2.70, 67p a serving(4)
Total nutrition 1860 calories, 64g protein, 84g fat, 220g carbs
Nutrition per serving 465 calories, 16g protein, 21g fat, 55g carbs

Quantities to serve 2

Beetroot Ragu Layer

1 tblsp butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
250g pack ready cooked beetroot
a clementine or similar
1 tsp garlic granules
tsp grainy mustard
salt and pepper

Bechamel layer

25g butter
25g flour
250ml milk
fresh grated nutmeg (optional)
a bay leaf or two (optional)
salt and pepper

50g flour or buy lasagna sheets
40g grated cheddar

The pack of beetroot I had was 250g, Asda ones are 300g. You could either just use the whole pack, or use the extra in a salad

To make beetroot ragu

Melt the butter in a pan and saute the onion until cooked through. Put the beetroot in a bowl and mash them up, or chop finely on a chopping board. Add the cooked onion, garlic and mustard. Zest the orange or clementine into the bowl. Then peel and chop the flesh finely. Mix into the beetroot mix.  Season well

To make bechamel

For the bechamel layer, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and stir around to mix and cook a little. Now add half a cup of the milk and stir continuously until the milk is absorbed. I like to use a small whisk for this. Repeat until all the milk has been used. Simmer very gently for around half an hour with the lid on. This prolonged cooking time really does improve the flavour. Infuse with a bay leaf or two if you have any and add a little grated nutmeg right at the end if you have any. Season well with salt and pepper, taste and adjust. Use a little spoon of mustard as well if you like. All the seasonings are added at the end of the cooking time as the heat of the cooking reduces their flavour. We still have to cook it in the oven of course.

To make pasta

If you want to make pasta, for cheapness, or to make the dish vegan – for 2, put 50g flour in a bowl and add enough cold water to make a pastry like dough. For 4, use 100g flour. Knead a little, or just leave in the bowl for a couple of hours and the gluten will develop.
Divide into 3. Roll out each third to the thickness of a credit card and approximately the shape of your dish.

Or just use value pasta sheets.

Layer up your lasagna

Now layer up your lasagna in an ovenproof dish

Divide your ragu into 3 sections in the saucepan. Divide the bechamel into 4 sections in the saucepan. Divide the cheddar into 4.

Ragu
Bechamel
sprinkle with cheddar
Pasta or lasagna sheets

repeat
Ragu
Bechamel
sprinkle with cheddar
Pasta or lasagna sheets

repeat
Ragu
Bechamel
sprinkle with cheddar
Pasta or lasagna sheets

Now top it all off with the last layer of bechamel. Sprinkle with the last cheddar

Bake at 180c for about half an hour until golden and bubbling.

This beetroot ragu lasagna is absolutely delicious! Click To Tweet

Verdict

Absolutely delicious! Serve with a bit of salad, garlic bread or cooked vegetables. I asked my husband if he could identify the mystery ingredient (the orange) and he couldn’t. If you know it’s there, you can taste it, but it really acts like a seasoning and adds another layer of flavour.

I added a few crushed walnuts to our salad as walnuts are another classic flavour combination with beetroot

Variations

Use plant milk, a vegan spread and a vegan cheese for vegans, or just leave out the cheese part. If you can’t find lasagna sheets without egg, and you want to make this vegan, you could try making pasta, it’s really not very difficult.

I’ve found that this can be used as a basic recipe for lasagna, just changing the ragu layer for all sorts of other things. I’ve done a lentil one, a mushroom one, this beetroot one, and a falafel layer one will be next!

I looked up what flavours go well with beetroot and decided to use orange. You could use an apple instead. Or just beetroot without anything else.

You could use horseradish rather than mustard too.

Beetroot Ragu Lasagna

 


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Bacon, Olive and Cheese Loaf Cake
Something different to do as side dishes with everyday vegetables