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03 August, 2011

Thrifty Cooking

Today has been all about thrifty cooking.  I never use a recipe for main course meals, I like to make it up as I go and with what's in the pantry.  Yet, I can't bake sweets or cakes to save myself without a recipe.
I will only do the grocery shopping once a week, mainly because I hate shopping for food and we try and live within a budget.  So I find I often have to 'make do'.

So this is what I did. I raided the pantry and fridge to see what's available, then I waited until I got some divine inspiration.  Once that happened this is what I came up with.

Vegetable & Meat Lasagne with Home Made Pasta 

First I made the pasta, and luckily I had enough eggs.  It takes three egg yolks and two eggs.

Then the messy bit, mixing the egg mixture with the flour.  Not going to show the mess I got into, but it worked out ok.

My recipe makes heaps of pasta and it can be frozen for next time, so no waste.  It's also so easy to cut and get it to fit the dish so much better than the pre-cooked stuff.  Yuk!  If you've never made your own pasta you should.  You will NEVER go back to the pre-cooked stuff.

 Picking herbs from the garden is a must, I didn't have any parsley, but that didn't stop me.  I used what I had; rosemary, curry plant ,thyme and lemon balm (mint) all chopped up and chucked into the meat sauce.

One of the layers is roast pumpkin with a sprinkle of ginger.  This is all the pumpkin I had, better than nothing!

Another layer is onion, chopped mushrooms and sour cream with nutmeg.  I could eat this on it's own.

Then the main part, the meat sauce.  I added lots of carrot, celery, onion, garam marsala, garlic and mince meat to this pot.  If you want a meatless dish, just leave out the meat.  Once the meat was cooked, I put the other bits and pieces in with a tin of diced tomatoes and tomato puree.  I just used enough to give a rich but not too runny texture.

I made the cheese sauce, using margarine, flour, milk, garlic, garam masala and cheese.  Once I had everything cooked and cooled, I assembled the lasagne with meat sauce, pasta sheets, cheese sauce, pumpkin and mushroom, more pasta and repeated until it was all gone.  Sprinkle the top with more cheese.

Pop it into the oven, keep an eye on it until the top has browned and Bob's your uncle.  All done.  

The longest part was resting the pasta dough in the fridge for three hours before rolling it out and then putting the layers together.  As we all know, this dish will be even better tomorrow evening but tonight is the night.


  1. (I never use a recipe for main course meals, I like to make it up as I go and with what's in the pantry. Yet, I can't bake sweets or cakes to save myself without a recipe)

    Me to a T, dear KS, plus I also hate shopping and only do it about once every 3 months preferring to buy in bulk and make do like you do as well.

    Never made pasta, but that's on the things to try out list for when I retire.

    Take care

  2. That looks so good! I was just telling my daughter that my grandma had homemade noodles...and I didn't know until I was older that she bought them from a neighbor who made them for her! I have tried a few times, I will try again. They really are so much better then store-bought! (I am a bad cook...that is why I have to keep trying!) Your recipe with the eggs and yolks looks like something I'll try next. I enjoyed your post! love,andrea

  3. Now I am starving! And the only thing that will do is a piece of your lasagne!


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