Prep 20 minutes
Cooking time 50 minutes
1 tbs olive oil
2 red onions, peeled, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500g beef mince
3 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
1 tsp white sugar
½ cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
625g packet fresh ricotta and spinach tortellini
250g piece mozzarella, thickly sliced
fresh basil leaves, to serve
40g butter, chopped
¼ cup plain flour
3 cups full cream milk
Pinch ground nutmeg
Preheat oven 220°C fan forced. Lightly grease a large, deep ovenproof dish.
Heat oil in a medium, deep frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally for 6 minutes, or until onion is soft. Increase heat to high, add mince. Cook, stirring to break up mince, for 4 minutes, or until browned.
Add tomatoes and sugar. Bring to boil. Gently boil, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until sauce thickens slightly. Stir in basil. Season.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water for 3 minutes. Drain.
For béchamel sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until foaming. Add flour. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from heat. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly, until smooth. Return to the heat. Cook, whisking until sauce comes to the boil. Remove from heat. Stir in nutmeg, season.
To assemble, spoon half the pasta into the prepared dish. Spoon over half the beef mixture. Spoon over half the béchamel sauce. Repeat with remaining pasta, beef mixture and béchamel sauce. Top with mozzarella.
Place onto a tray and bake for 25 minutes, or until cheese is golden. Sprinkle with extra basil leaves and pepper. Serve.
Serving Suggestion Delicious served with rocket and baby spinach tossed with balsamic dressing.
Tip Tortellini can be replaced with other types of filled pasta i.e. agnolotti or ravioli.
Tip Try adding 2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes with onion and garlic for a spicy kick.
Make ahead tip You can make the lasagna to the end step 5 the night before. Cover and place in the fridge. It will take about 40 minutes to cook from fridge temperature.
Onions are an unsung health hero and are often the forgotten vegetable. With less than 7% of the Australian population meeting the daily recommended intake for vegetables, it's important to fnd ways to help Aussie families to reach this daily goal. A staple in most shopping trolleys, the humble onion is added to a variety of common dishes, but many of us don't think of it as part of the recommended fve serves of vegetables each day.
Good news – it is! From boosting the immune system to improving gut health, onions are a reliable, versatile and affordable staple that can be easily 'disguised' for fussy eaters in your favourite family meals.
With a young family of my own, we enjoy onions across a variety of dishes and it's exciting to share the latest nutritional information, along with usage tips, so all Australian's can enjoy the beneft of more onions in their diet.
Whether blended, sautéed, baked or caramelised, go ahead, toss in an onion and reap the benefts. It's the everyday veggie that helps keep you and your kids healthy on the inside and out.
Kathleen Alleaume, Nutritionist (MSc)
Selecting and Enjoying
• Choose onions that clean with shiny tissue-thin loose skins. The loose skin means thay have dried correctly.
• The 'necks' should be tight and dry
• If they are overly dry, discoloured or have soft wet spots on them - they aren't fresh
Store alone and in the dark
• Onions are best kept in a cool, dark, dry area. Keep them in a mesh bag (or similar) so they get good air circulation
• Storing onions and potatoes together accelerates the spoiling of each vegetable – store separately
• Don't keep onions in the refrigerator for long periods of time as the cold temperature softens them
No more tears
• Onions release an enzyme that when combined with water creates acid. To avoid tearing up while cutting onions:
• Refrigerate or freeze your onions an hour before cutting them
• Peel the onion under cold running water
• Cut the bottom core of the onion first (the part that releases the gas)
• Slice and dice with a sharp knife
In the kitchen
• Chop up some onion and add it to your Asian stir fry or fresh salad
• Add diced onion into your salsa or guacamole for an extra kick
• Caramelised onions make a delicious topping for pizza or steak
• Include fnely chopped onion into fried rice or San Choy Bau for delicious ﬂavor
• Mix onion into meat balls, bolognese or rissoles for an extra hit of veg
Undercover onion facts
• Cooking onions does not significantly alter their nutritional value
• The distinctive smell and taste comes from the healthy organosulfur compounds