Low salt lasagne recipe
Shockingly, eating just one portion of ready-prepared supermarket lasagne can see us consume approximately 2-3g of salt – between a third and a half of the recommended adult daily salt intake. 
By cooking this at home from scratch instead, we can reduce the sodium content to less than 500mg per portion. Enough for guilt-free second helpings!
Ingredients: serves 12
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 500g beef mince (or swap for 2 aubergines and 1 courgette)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 1 carrot, grated
- 2 tins no-added-salt tomatoes
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 large handful of chopped fresh basil
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- 2 tbsp salt-free tomato puree or passata
- 100g unsalted butter or spread
- 100g plain flour
- 1.5litres semi-skimmed milk
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 33g grated parmesan cheese (vegetarians can find a vegetarian hard Italian cheese or other alternative)
- 250g lasagne sheets (fresh or dried)
Preheat oven to 180C.
Fry the onion and 1 bay leaf in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, adding the crushed garlic once the onion has gone clear.
Adding the mince, thoroughly brown the beef (or veg) before adding the carrot and celery. After 5 minutes add the passata/puree and tinned tomatoes, along with half the basil, the oregano, the rosemary and thyme sprigs, and a grinding of black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then reduce and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaf and the rosemary and thyme stalks, and set aside.
Making your own white sauce feels challenging the first time you try, but remember you can always use a hand-held whisk or fork to beat out any lumps!
Melt the unsalted butter/spread in a pan over a low heat. Careful to keep this very low as if it becomes too hot it will separate or burn and spoil. Gradually add the flour and stir in. It will thicken at first to a doughy paste, but keep slowly adding milk to avoid lumps
Add the remaining 2 bay leaves and the semi-skimmed milk gradually, stirring all the time. Beat any lumps out as they form with a hand-whisk or fork. You are aiming for a thick, smooth custardy consistency.
Grate in the nutmeg (or use ready-ground), season with ground pepper, remove the bay leaves, turn off the heat and set aside.
Once it has cooled a little you are ready to layer. Place a layer of the beef/tomato sauce in a large glass or stoneware dish, add a layer of the lasagne sheets to cover, and spread a layer of the white sauce over this, sprinkling a little basil. Continue with the layers all the way to the top, saving enough white sauce for a final top layer. Finally, add the parmesan cheese/vegetarian alternative on the very top.
Cover with foil, then put in the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes; uncover and bake for a further 15 minutes or until the cheese browns and bubbles. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.