Small Batch Classic Lasagna

Friday 10 January 2020

This year I am planning on focusing more on small batch cookery, cooking for two or three, ie. the smaller family, as much as I can.  
There are only two of us in our home most days and I just don't entertain as much as I used to do. Downsizing recipes only makes economic sense.  I also hate waste.

I also want to work more on bringing my recipe index up to date.  As you can imagine with over 10 years worth of recipes on here that is a considerable job to tackle.
 I plan on decreasing my daily posts to maybe every other day so that I can use that time to do that.  I think it will be worth it both to myself in the long run and certainly to you, the readers as well. 

I hope you will support me to that end.  There will be the odd recipe to feed a larger family and, in all truth, I don't know of many recipes that cannot be doubled successfully.
 I really don't think anyone is going to lose anything in the long run.

The recipe I am sharing with you today is for a small batch classic Lasagna recipe.  It is just as delicious and satisfying as my bigger batch recipe. 
I have gone without a bechamel sauce topping however.  Feel free to make a small batch of bechamel for on top if you wish, but I promise you, this recipe is so delicious, you won't miss it.

This delicious meaty sauce uses both lean ground beef and spicy Italian sausage, for plenty of meatiness and flavour.  I am not a person who likes huge chunks of meat in my sausages, so I mash the meat well with a potato masher to an even consistency within the sauce.
For me it is a consistency thing. I can't stand the feel of it against  my teeth. I am not sure if that makes me wierd or not.

I have also added a bit of double cream to the sauce to give a depth of richness and a velvety texture very reminiscent of a good bolognese. 

You can't beat a bit of cream in a sauce, even a meat sauce. In North America just use heavy or whipping cream.

Here in the UK, our fresh lasagna comes in sheets, so I have chosen to cut them in half lengthwise.  I know North American lasagna noodles are much narrower and so where I have chosen to use two sheets cut in half for this, in North America you can use 4 no-boil noodles.
I hope that makes sense.

I have chosen to bake it in a small pie dish, but you can easily bake this in a small loaf tin, where it will fit perfectly.  
If you spritz it well with low fat cooking spray, you shouldn't have any problem spooning it out when done.

I have chosen to do a couple of layers of a delicious garlicky cottage cheese and Parmesan mixture instead of the bechamel on top, which adds both interest and additional texture and flavour.

The use of a beaten egg helps to set it up and it forms and almost custard cheese layer that is beautiful.

I have also used plenty of fresh basil in the custard layer for additional flavour.

I really hope that you will be inspired to bake this and that you will like it.  Todd, who always says he hates pasta, was really happy with the results.  That, in turn, made me happy also.

Yield: 2

Small Batch Classic Lasagne

Small Batch Classic Lasagna

Tender noodles, gooey cheese and a robust meaty filling, built just for two. Simple, easy and delicious.


For the sauce:
  • 1 TBS light olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion, peeled and minced
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 pound lean ground beef (4 ounces)
  • 1/4 pound Italian sausage meat (4 ounces)
  • 2 TBS double cream (heavy cream)
  • 1 (425g) tin of chopped tomatoes in juice, drained (reserve 60ml/1/4 cup of the juice (14 1/2 ounce tin)
  • 8 ounces of tomato passatta (tomato sauce)
You will also need:
  • 250g full fat cottage cheese (1 cup)
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 90g freshly grated Parmesan Cheese + 2 TBS (1/2 cup + 2TBS)
  • 3 TBS chopped fresh basil
  • 1 large free range egg, lightly beaten
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 sheets of fresh lasagna, cut in half lengthwise (4 no-boil noodles)
  • 130g grated mozzarella cheese (1 cup)


How to cook Small Batch Classic Lasagna

  1. First make the sauce.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until it shimmers.  Add the onion and some salt and saute, without browning, stirring frequently, until softened.  Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, then add both meats.  Scramble fry until no longer pink.  Stir in the cream and bring to a simmer.  Cook until the cream has been absorbed. Add the tomatoes with their reserved juice and the tomato passata.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer and cook until the flavours have blended well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Mash down large chunks with a potato masher. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  Butter a small loaf tin or rectangular pie dish.
  3. Combine the cottage cheese, beaten egg, small garlic clove, basil leaf and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Lay two dessertspoons of sauce in the bottom of baking dish (About 1/2 cup). Lay one noodle strip in the pan.  spread with 1/3 of the cottage cheese mixture, 4 TBS of the mozzarella and 1/3  of the meat sauce, repeating the layers two more times, finishing with a final layer of meat sauce.  Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and the remaining 2 TBS of Parmesan.
  5. Butter a sheet of foil and cover the dish tightly with it.  Bake in the preheated oven until the sauce bubbles around the edges (30 to 35 minutes). Uncover and continue to bake until heated through and the cheese on top is browned lightly in spots., about 10 minutes longer. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

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You really don't need anything on the side when serving this except perhaps a tossed salad and some garlic bread or crusty rolls if you wish.  The bread will be great in ensuring that you can mop up all of that rich and meaty sauce! 

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1 comment

  1. I made this recipe. A winner! Used bottled spaghetti sauce and chopped pepperoni and summer sausage for meat . So good!


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