Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lasagna.....My Way

There is no doubt that Lasagna is a festive dish, a dish for special occasions,  a dish for Sundays.
I would like to share with you my quick lasagna.
You will need:
Serves 4
-  A 30 cm x 35 cm  baking dish.
-  18 dry, no precook, white or green lasagna rectangles.
-  500 ml of milk.
-  500 ml of tomato juice for sauces.
-  50 gr. of butter.
-  50 gr of flour.
-  Salt, ground black pepper, ground dried chili flakes to taste.
-  1 cup of milk extra.
-  150 gr of freshly grated parmezan cheese.
-  150 gr grated mozzarella cheese (optional).
-  150 gms. ricotta cottage cheese in small pieces (optional).
-  2 tbsp. of  already prepared or home made pesto to be dissolved in the 500 ml of milk for the tomato béchamel.
Method:
-  Add butter to saucepan, and stir fry the onion.
-  Make a 50/50 béchamel sauce with the milk/pesto mix and the tomato sauce juice by making a roux with the butter and the flour, and cooking it well.
-  Start adding alternatively the milk and the tomato juice starting with the milk and ending with the tomato juice.
-  Stir until you get a thick, yet fluid mixture. I would call it a tomato béchamel.
-  Add salt, freshly ground pepper, and dried freshly ground chilli flakes to taste.
-  Cover your baking dish bottom with the sauce.
-  Lay six rectangles of dry, no pre-cook, lasagna  side by side to cover the baking dish.
-  Ladle enough sauce to cover the layer of lasagna, sprinkle parmezan cheese and if you want some grated mozzarella and pieces of cottage cheese (optional).
-  Lay another six rectangles of dry lasagna side by side but crosswise.
-  Repeat the step with sauce, parmezan, mozzarella, cottage cheeses.
-  Lay another  six rectangles as the first layer.
-  Repeat the step with the remaining sauce.  Be sure to cover the surface with the sauce, sprinkle the parmezan, add the mozzarella and cottage cheese.
Note:  Basically you are ending up with three layers of lasagna.
-  Add a couple of knobs of butter on the top.
-  Finally, add the cup of milk around the sides of the baking dish to soak in.
-  Bake for 25 minutes in a pre-heated 220 degree C oven on the middle shelf.
-  Once the first 25 minutes are over cover with aluminum foil, and bake for another 25 minutes.
-  Your lasagna should be ready.
-  Uncover and let cool for 10 minutes.
Serve with a cucumber, tomato, spring onion salad.
Enjoy
Stelio
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