THIS week I thought I would bring you two fab Italian dishes that are the perfect comfort everyone will enjoy – plus, they are perfect for batching.
My lazy lasagne is a staple in my family and I’m sure it will become one in yours as well.
This creamy Italian chicken dinner is a great slow-cooker recipe and is delicious served over pasta.
My top tip this week – just double the recipe and make two, one for the freezer and one for now. It is a time-saver and it usually only takes an extra five minutes.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes
For the mince base:
- 115g frozen diced onions
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 500g minced beef
- 140g grated carrot
- For the tomato sauce:
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- 500g carton passata
- 2tbsp tomato puree
- 2tsp dried oregano
- 1tsp frozen chopped garlic
- For the white sauce:
- 600ml milk
- 4tbsp plain flour
- 1tsp cumin
- 50g butter, melted
- 140g frozen sliced mushrooms
- 1 packet dried lasagne sheets
- First make the mince base. Soften the onions in a large saucepan with a little oil. Add the beef and cook for 8 minutes until browned. Drain off any excess fat. Add the grated carrot and set aside to cool.
- Prepare the tomato sauce by adding all the ingredients to a large pan. Stir well and simmer for 15 minutes until thickened. Allow to cool.
- Measure out the milk for the white sauce into a jug and whisk with the other white sauce ingredients, except the butter.
- Add a little at a time of the white sauce mixture to the melted butter, whisking, until thickened. To assemble, combine the tomato sauce and mince, then add a thin layer to your baking dish.
- Next, layer the mushrooms on top, then add a layer of white sauce, then a layer of pasta. Keep layering until the dish is almost full, finishing with a layer of white sauce.
Ready to freeze: Label the dish with how many people it serves, and once cool add the lid and place in the freezer.
Ready to eat: When needed, take out and defrost the lasagne overnight, then cook at 200C/180C/gas mark 6 for 30-40 minutes. Or cook from frozen for 1 hour, but cover with foil for the first 30 minutes then take it off for last 30.
Creamy Italian pasta
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 4 hours
- 4 chicken breasts
- 115g frozen sliced carrots
- 180g cream cheese
- 2 x 294g tins condensed chicken soup
- 1tsp Italian mixed herbs
- This is a very easy recipe – you basically add all the raw ingredients to a labelled freezer bag.
- Cut your chicken breasts lengthways in half and add them to the bag.
- Next, put all the other ingredients into the freezer bag and then mix together so the sauce covers any dry ingredients.
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Ready to freeze: Remove the air from the bag, seal and lay flat in the freezer.
Ready to Eat: Defrost the bag overnight in the fridge. When defrosted pour everything into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 hours.
- The Batch Lady: Healthy Family Favourites (£20, HQ) is out now. Also see The Batch Lady Meal Planner (HQ, £9.99).
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