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Pasta Sheets with Beef and Cheese Filling (Lasagne)

ingredients

6 - 8 servings
50 ml (2 fl oz) 1/4 cup Olive oil
1/2 kg (1 lb) Lasagne
1/2 kg (1 lb) Mozzarella cheese, sliced
1/2 kg (1 lb) Ricotta cheese
125 g (4 oz) 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

for the sauce

50 ml (2 fl oz) 1/4 cup Olive oil
2 Large onions, chopped
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 kg (2 lb) Minced (ground) beef
425 g (14 oz) Canned tomato sauce
700 g (1 1/2 lb) Canned peeled tomatoes
75 g (3 oz) Tomato puree (paste)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Dried basil
2 Bay leaves
225 g (8 oz) 2 cups Mushrooms, sliced

method

1. First prepare the sauce. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and fry until the onions are soft. Stir in the beef and cook until it loses its pinkness. Stir in all the remaining sauce ingredients, except the mushrooms, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Stir in the mushrooms and simmer for a further 30 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

2. Meanwhile, half-fill a large saucepan and pour in half the oil. Bring to the boil over high heat. Add half the lasagne, sheet by sheet, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until 'al dente', or just tender. Remove the sheets from the pan with tongs, being careful not to tear them. Add the remaining oil to the pan and cook the remaining lasagne in the same way.

3. Preheat the oven to moderate 180°C (Gas Mark 4, 350°F).

4. Put a layer of pasta over the bottom of a large, deep ovenproof casserole. Cover with a layer of meat sauce, then with alternating layers of Mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan cheese. Continue making layers in this way until all the ingredients have been used up, ending with a layer of pasta sprinkled liberally with Parmesan.

5. Put the casserole into the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Serve at once.

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