Gourmet boy’s favourites – mum’s ‘bazarnya’ (lasagne)

The gourmet boy, aka Master 8, was born with an adult palate. “Oh yum!”, his big green eyes wide with delight at dukkah, blue cheese, olives, bocconcini and seaweed. He scowls at packet meals and insists that 2 minute noodles aren’t actually food. You can guarantee anything that falls under this ‘favourites’ category is going to be good.

Being a small child that only talked when necessary (mostly relating to food) his pleading for “bazarnya” named this dish permanently in our family. There is, of course, an element of kitchen witchcraft too.


500g lean beef mince
1 onion
garlic – one or two or three crushed cloves to taste
1 heaped t of dried basil
1 heaped t of dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 700g jar of passata (or tinned chopped tomatoes of similar volume)
1 cup beef stock
1 t sugar

3 T butter
3 T flour
Salt and pepper
Milk – around 2 cups
1/4 t mustard – optional
Grated cheese – 2 cups or whatever you like

Fresh lasagne sheets

Brown mince, add onion and garlic and fry until onion is soft. Add herbs, salt and pepper, fry until fragrant. Add passata, beef stock and sugar. Simmer on a low heat until thickened.

Note: This Bolognese sauce tends to go thermal mud/porridge like and splatter the kitchen. Partially cover with a lid to lessen the clean-up but do not cover completely as it needs to reduce.

Now the white or cheese sauce.

nodI’m sure you’ve figured out by now I don’t like dishes. Roux method tends to catch on the bottom of the pot unless you are REALLY careful. Un-fun to scrub that pot. Feel free to make it traditionally if you prefer, or….


rice cookerIn a large microwaveable dish (I use a rice cooker – pictured), melt the butter and add seasoning. Stir in flour and return to the microwave uncovered for 30 seconds or until fluffy. Then add milk. Microwave for 2 mins and check. The sauce should begin to thicken around the outside of the dish. Grab a whisk and beat it until smooth. Return to the microwave for another minute and beat again. Do this until you have a nice thick white sauce. If it gets too thick, add a little extra milk. If you get the odd lump, beat harder. It really is that simple.

Add cheese and mustard if you like it cheesy and savoury. Just taste it and season/add cheese until you are happy.

Time to bring it all together.

Add a small amount of the meat sauce to the bottom of your lasagne dish. Add a sheet of lasagne. Then continue to layer – meat/cheese/lasagne [repeat]. Go as thick or thin as you like.

Once you’ve added the last sheet of lasagne, spread a little cheese sauce on top and some grated cheese. Bake at 180 degrees until golden and bubbly.

Take out of the oven and rest for a good 5 mins before serving.


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