To make a Vegetarian version simply replace meat with sliced baked/flame grilled eggplant slices (quite thick cuts) topped with your favourite herbs e.g. marjoram, oregano, parsley etc.
90g butter, plus extra for greasing
3/4 cup plain flour (I recommend Spelt)
1.25 l milk
A few gratings of nutmeg
250g steamed spinach (Aibika – leaves only, sliced)
Sea salt & ground black pepper to taste
(my personal version I use my kefir home-made soft cheese or you could buy Ricotta cheese, then I add grated cheddar cheese, nutmeg, salt & pepper and my steamed Aibika and voila sauce done!)
40 g dried porcini mushrooms
70 g butter
2 tabs olive oil
2 spring onions, finely chopped
750 g fresh mixed mushrooms, thinly sliced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
500 g lasagne sheets
250 g cooked ham, cut into thin matchsticks OR lean beef mince (my personal choice is minced Kangaroo meat which I cook with onions, tomatoes & herbs until reduced down to a spreadable paste to alternate with sauce & lasagne sheets)
100g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1. to make the sauce, melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour to cook a few minutes without browning.
2. pour in milk and whisk until sauce is thick and smooth. Add nutmeg, salt & pepper, Aibika spinach. Stir and set aside.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees centigrade
3. Cover dried mushrooms with boiling water and leave for 30 mins, then rinse and chop finely. Strain this mixture through a fine muslin cloth and reserve fluid separately.
4. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter with the oil in a large frying pan, saute the spring onions a few minutes then add fresh and dried mushrooms with lemon juice. Cook uncovered until they start to exude juices. Raise the heat to evaporate most of the liquid before adding the strained water from the mushrooms, boil for a few minutes, add salt & pepper then set aside.
5. Cook lasagne sheets as per instructions on packet before draining on clean tea towels.
6. Mixed cooked mushrooms with Aibika sauce. Lightly grease a shallow, rectangular oven-proof dish (about 33 x 25 cm with some butter before adding a thin layer of the sauce before the first layer of pasta to make it easier to remove from dish when serving.
7. Continue to layer the meat or eggplant slices with Aibika sauce and lasagne sheets finishing with sauce and grated cheese on top.
8. Bake for 40-45 minutes until well-browned and bubbling. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving with a garden or rocket salad.