One more recipe to go for the Christmas Meal Plan, the gnocchi. But before I do that one, I wanted to have a play around with some of the possible leftovers from the festive week.
There will be some pork roast leftovers, so I started with those, and a Pork, Apple & Stuffing Lasagna. If you don’t have any roast pork handy in the fridge, this would work just as well using pork mince. At £4.44/kg from Asda, this would be 64p
For the meat sauce.
145g cooked pork roast, (Butchers Selection British Pork Shoulder joint, 1.6kg/£4.61), 42p
164g apple, weighed before coring, cored and chopped, but not peeled, about 30p
100g onion, chopped, 5p
70g stuffing, made up weight, about 1/3 of a pkt, value pkt, 15p, 5p
For the white sauce
50g flour, value flour, 45p/1.5kg, 1p
400ml milk, 2.27 litres/£1, 18p
3 tsps Asda English Mustard, 25p/200g, 2p
For the pasta
100g flour, value flour, 45p/1.5kg, 3p
Total Price £1.06, Serves 4, 26p a portion
I used an apple from the basket in the bottom of the larder from where I picked them earlier in the year. I have added in the cost of buying one.
Make the white sauce. Put the 50g of flour in a saucepan and mix to a paste with a little of the milk. Add the rest of the milk and the mustard and whisk well to incorporate. Now heat the milk mixture either in a saucepan or in the microwave until it thickens. Set aside. You may well need a splash of water to let it down a little. I added a tsp of mustard and could barely detect it was there, so added another, not much better, and finally added a third tsp. This may be because I was using the 25p mustard and it may have been watered down to hit the price. I wouldn’t expect to use any more than 1 tsp if I was using my usual grainy mustard. So add a tsp of whatever you are using and taste, then act accordingly.
I haven’t added any fat to this, or any cheese. It tastes amazingly creamy. If you want to go ahead and add the usual butter and cheese, feel free.
Make the meat sauce. Pile everything for the meat sauce into a saucepan and saute gently for about 10 minutes to cook the onion through. There is no need for the stuffing to be pre-cooked, it will be cooked by this sauteing and by the cooking in the oven. If you have leftover stuffing balls, chop them up and bung them in instead. Taste and season if necessary, I didn’t add anything at all.
If you have any leftover gravy or roasted veg, they would be lovely here.
Make the pasta. Put the remaining 100g flour in a bowl and add enough cold water to make a pastry like dough. Knead a little, or leave for a couple of hours to allow the gluten to develop. You can leave this covered in the fridge for several days if you want to.
Divide into 3. Roll out one third to the thickness of a credit card and approximately the shape of your dish.
In an ovenproof dish, the one I used is 9″/23cm x 7.5″/18cm, place one third of the meat sauce, top with one quarter of the white sauce.
Cover with the rolled out pasta.
Repeat… Meat sauce, white sauce, pasta
Repeat… Meat sauce, white sauce, pasta
Now top the final layer of pasta with the last quarter of the white sauce. Everything else is more or less cooked, we just need to cook the pasta through.
Bake in a medium oven for 30-35 minutes until the top is browned.
If you have any Parmesan, grana padano or cheddar, sprinkle a tiny bit on top of each layer of white sauce.
You don’t have to make pasta, value lasagna sheets would be just as good. Or you could layer absolutely any pasta shape that you have between the meat sauce and white sauce. I would add a little liquid to the meat sauce if using bought lasgana sheets or they might soak up too much liquid during cooking and make the finished dish too dry. If using other pasta, penne for instance, to get the liquid balance right, I would cook the pasta before layering up.
Serve just as it is or with a green vegetable, salad, garlic bread, oven wedges or a jacket potato.
This would freeze beautifully, cooked or uncooked. Re-heat in the microwave for a lovely homemade ready meal. If there is just one of you to feed, I would either portion this up in separate dishes at the beginning, or layer it up in the one dish, cook it, then cut into quarters ready to freeze. If you are feeding a family, you could easily double or more the recipe, and freeze some for another day. Or have half one day and ding cuisine the next day.
I find the plastic ready meal dishes are perfect for this kind of meal, just the right size to cook and freeze in. I very, very rarely have ready made meals. Just about the only time is when I use the M&S vouchers from my credit card points to get lovely M&S food. I keep the dishes and use them again and again.
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