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Simon Holst's baked pasta recipes - 25 August

Lazy lasagne

Salmon and spinach cannelloni

Lazy Lasagne

We are very proud of this very easy lasagne, which Alison created, and which requires absolutely no precooking. We know that many thousands of families have enjoyed it since it was first published.

For 4-6 servings:
500g minced beef or lamb
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp each basil and oregano
1 425g can tomato purée
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 x 45g packet tomato soup mix
2 tsp instant beef stock powder or 1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups hot water
About 3 cups small lasagne shapes or long lasagne strips
1 cup grated tasty cheese

2 tsp cornflour
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup grated tasty cheese

Preheat the oven to 180degC.

Measure the first seven ingredients into a food processor or bowl. Add the hot water and process until well blended or mix with a fork and/or potato masher until everything is combined.

Spray or butter a 23cm square or 25x20cm rectangular ovenware dish or a suitable roasting pan or foil dish. Spread one third of the meat mixture evenly over the bottom, followed by a layer of half the lasagne noodles. Sprinkle over half of the grated cheese. Repeat this layer and cover with the remaining meat mixture (you may like to use more than a third of the meat mixture for the top layer).

Bake immediately, uncovered, for 50 minutes, or cover and microwave on High (100% power) for 30 minutes.

To make the topping, mix together the cornflour, egg, milk and cheese. Pour evenly over the cooked mixture, sprinkle with the paprika if using and bake, uncovered, at 150°C for about 10 minutes until the topping sets or microwave at 50% (Medium power) for 10 minutes.

Leave to stand 15-30 minutes before cutting into squares or rectangles. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Cut into serving-sized pieces and wrap in cling film for freezing. Reheat in a moderate oven or microwave.

Serve with a green salad and with warmed, crusty bread rolls, if you like.

Salmon & Spinach Cannelloni

Salmon in large 415g size cans is incredibly good value. If you've got one of these and some cannelloni on hand in your pantry, you can knock up this dish at surprisingly short notice!

For 4-6 servings
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
125-150g frozen spinach, thawed
1 x 415g can pink salmon
1/2 cup cottage cheese
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill (optional)

25g butter
1/4 cup plain flour
2 1/2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups grated mild or tasty cheese
Few pinches of ground paprika

16-20 cannelloni tubes

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft. Stir in the thawed spinach plus any liquid and remove from the heat. Drain the salmon, and add it to the pot along with the cottage cheese, capers and herbs. Stir to combine, picking out any obvious salmon bones. Set aside to cool while you prepare the sauce.

Preheat the oven to 200degC. Melt the butter in a medium-sized pot. Add the flour and stir well to avoid lumps and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. Pour in a third of the milk and bring to the boil, again stirring vigorously to ensure there are no lumps. Allow the sauce to thicken and boil for 1 minute, then add half the remaining milk and bring to the boil again, still stirring. Repeat using the last of the milk, then remove the sauce from the heat. Add the seasonings and half the grated cheese. Stir until the cheese melts.

Pour a third of the cheese sauce into an oiled casserole dish large enough to hold all the cannelloni. Using clean hands, stuff the cooled filling into the cannelloni tubes - there is no tidy way to do this! Arrange the filled tubes on top of the sauce in the dish, pour over the remaining sauce, then sprinkle with the rest of the grated cheese and the paprika.

Bake for 30-40 minutes. Serve with crusty bread, a green or tomato salad, or steamed seasonal vegetables.