Making lasagne is an arse. A labour of love. An every-pan atrocity strewn around the desolate wasteland of what was formerly your kitchen. I have made dozens of lasagnes in my short lifetime, and halfway through every single one comes the moment, without fail, whereby I survey the three pans on the hob, the piles of everything, the crap strewn across every available worksurface and some of the not-available ones, too, and I wail inside that I could have just bought one for less than a quid at the supermarket. One night, craving lasagne but not the work that went with it, I threw this together, and the Sausagne was born. I’m not suggesting for a minute that it is an exact substitute but, my, it ticks all the soft, cheesy, comforting, gooey boxes, and with far less washing up.

SERVES 6ISH (HA HA HA HA)

1 x 375g box of lasagne sheets, 45p (45p/box, Asda)

300g sausages (vegetarian or ordinary, depends what floats your sausageboat), 33p (99p/20 sausages, SmartPrice at Asda. These are frozen so please defrost overnight before use!)

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes, 58p (29p/400g, SmartPrice at Asda)

Β½ tsp mixed dried herbs – oregano or thyme, or something like it, 4p (37p/18g, Smartprice at Asda)

pinch of salt and a bit of black pepper

2 mozzarella balls, 94p (47p/125g, SmartPrice at Asda)

50g strong cheese or cheese spread to taste (not essential, but so good), 17p (70p/200g, Smartprice at Asda)

Preheat the oven to 180 Β° C/ 350 Β° F/ gas 4 and locate a dish suitable for making a lasagne in. Use something deep and absolutely not round – I tried to make a round lasagne once and it was one of the worst ideas I had ever had, and that’s saying something.

Grab a large mixing bowl. Finely slice the sausages and sling them in. Pour in the chopped tomatoes, add the herbs, a pinch of salt and a bit of pepper and mix it all up together.

Spread a layer of sausage-tomato mix into the dish. Layer lasagne sheets on top. Repeat until the sausage mix runs out . It needs to be a little sloppy , as the wetness of the tomatoes is what cooks the lasagne sheets.

Place the last lasagne sheets on top. Slice the mozzarella and cover the sheets. Grate some strong cheese on top, sprinkle on some breadcrumbs, if you want them, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden and gorgeous. And enjoy the sausagne revelation. Lasagne will never be the same again.

From β€˜Cooking On A Bootstrap’ by Jack Monroe, published by Bluebird at Pan Macmillan. RRP Β£15.99, available here.

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