Treat your family to a comforting Italian dinner with these simple pasta dishes

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.

Lazy lasagna

(Serves: 4)

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

To assemble:

  • 140g frozen sliced mushrooms
  • 1 packet dried lasagne sheets


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Measure out the milk for the white sauce into a jug and whisk with the other white sauce ingredients, except the butter.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

(Serves: 4)

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


  1. This is a very easy recipe – you basically add all the raw ingredients to a labelled freezer bag.
  2. Cut your chicken breasts lengthways in half and add them to the bag.
  3. 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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