“When I was younger, I was brought up by my Grandma who is from the Punjab in India. We’d eat things like chapati, curry, samosas with her. My Mum tends to cook more western food. My favourite thing to eat is Maryland cookies. I used to really love pasta and Italian food. My Mum makes lasagne – we buy the sheets, then make all of the sauces from scratch. Because we like a lot of spice in our culture, we would add a lot of spice to our lasagne.”
Heat your oil in a large pan and add your onion, celery and carrot.
Cook until they soften.
Add your garlic and ginger to the pan and cook through.
Now add all of your spices – to taste – and cook through. It should start to create a thick paste – Add passata to loosen the mixture slightly.
Now add your meat and the rest of your passata. Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer while you make your white sauce.
For the white sauce, melt the butter in a separate pan. Take it off the heat. Slowly add in the flour, bit by bit, mixing as you go until it forms a ball. Now begin to slowly add in the milk, again very slowly. If you use a hand whisk you will be less likely to get lumps. When all of the milk is added, return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil whilst constantly stirring the mixture, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as this is where it will stick.
Once the sauce has thickened to your liking, add in a load of grated cheese and stir through so that it melts. Taste and season.
Now you can begin to layer the lasagne in a large, deep sided baking dish. Start with a thin layer of the meat sauce, then a layer of pasta sheets on top of this and repeat as many times as you can until the baking dish is nearly full. You can add in other layers of things if you want to try something different – perhaps a spinach and paneer layer.
Now pour the white sauce over the top of the lasagne, smooth out and cover with loads more cheese.
Pop in the oven at 190 for about 45 minutes or until the white sauce and cheese layer is golden brown and bubbling. Let the lasagne rest for 10-15 minutes before serving as this will help it to retain its shape when you serve and will also prevent burnt mouths!