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Emigrated from America to New Zealand and never looked back. Couldn't have asked for a better husband, family & life!


An old friend from years gone by recently reminded me of an old favourite I used to be “known for”. She wanted to know how to make my lasagne as she remembered that I did not boil the noodles first, nor do I use ricotta cheese in my lasagne, which seems to be a common way of preparing it. I always preferred to eat my own lasagne due to the fact that is stayed together well and it was rich & cheesy with a certain zing.

Now, sometimes I would add spinach to the sauce or add layers of micro planed slices of courgettes (zucchinis), grated carrot, or fresh basil leaves, etc., but this basic recipe is pretty much a no-fail for any lasagne lover out there.

Obviously, with this much cheese and meat in one recipe, this is going to serve several people or provide a few leftovers for lunches or, at the very least, another dinner (Mine ended up being about 12 servings). This is perfect for refrigerating; portioning into foil parcels, and freezing for lunches later on too, so keep that in mind when reaching for your wallet to purchase all of the ingredients.

Here we go...


2 Large Brown Onions, finely diced
2 Large Red Capsicums (Bell Peppers), finely diced
400 Gm Ground Beef
400 Gm Ground Pork
3-4 Cloves Crushed Garlic
2 Tsp Dried Oregano
2 Tbsp Fresh Basil, finely chopped
*Salt & Pepper
1-2 Tbsp Tomato Paste (I use double concentrate)
1 Can Chopped Tomatoes with Basil
1 Can Italian Crushed Tomatoes
1 Cup V8 Vegetable Juice (**Spicy, if available)
**If Spicy V8 is not available, add a few dashes of Tabasco Sauce or ¼ Tsp Cayenne Powder
1 Box Dry Lasagne Noodles
1 Tub Spreadable Cream Cheese
2 Cups Tasty or Cheddar Cheese, grated
2 Cups Edam or Jack Cheese, grated
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated or sliced very thin

*Amounts vary to individual tastes.


Firstly, you need to make your sauce.

Start by browning the onion and pepper together in a large pan or stock pot.

Once the onions begin to go translucent, add in the beef and pork (you can use one or the other if you don’t want to combine them – or, substitute with, chicken, turkey, or other protein of your choice).

Now, add in the garlic, oregano, basil salt & pepper and brown the meat so that it is completely cooked through.

Once the meat is cooked, add in the tomato paste, tinned tomatoes and juice. If you cannot find Spicy V8 Juice, then also add in the Tabasco or cayenne pepper now. This is not going to make it very spicy, it only adds a little bite to the sauce...kicks it up a notch without burning your mouth!

Now, you want your sauce to be a little on the thin side because you are not pre-cooking the noodles. The pasta will soak up the extra liquid and make the lasagne more firm and easier to cut and serve.

Preheat your oven to about 200-220°C (400-425°F) and get out a large lasagne pan.

Spread cream cheese on several noodles, to prepare them for layering, and mix the grated tasty & edam (cheddar and Jack) cheeses together.

Begin with a thin layer of sauce to cover the bottom of the dish, then add a layer some of the cheesed noodles to cover the sauce.

Next is another layer of sauce then a layer of the mixed grated cheese.

Continue layering until you end up with the last of the sauce and cheese on top...I ended up with 3 layers of noodles in mine.

Add the parmesan cheese at the end to top it off.

At this stage your dish may be close to overflowing, so I suggest putting it onto a baking sheet before placing it into the oven, just in case it bubbles over.

Finally, bake the lasagne in the oven for about 30-40 minutes or until the top is nicely browned and the lasagne is bubbling on the sides.

Allow this to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving and savour every bite!

4 Thoughts & Remarks:

Rhyleysgranny said...

I absolutely love lasagne. Yours looks lovely and so neat and tidy! Mine ends up all over the show LOL. I love lots of cheese. I have never tried cream cheese like that. I will be having a go at this. maybe this time it will be neater. Thank you :)

Joie de vivre said...

Cream cheese! Whew! I bet that is good. I love the idea of not cooking the noodles first and making the sauce more watery. That not only saves time, but an extra pot!

Pam said...

What a fantastic lasagne - it looks so delicious.

NuKiwi said...

Thanks...yes, I have to say that I like my lasagne better than any other I have tasted. I am either full of myself or really, reall picky! (I like to think it's the latter!) :o)