Monday, 14 May 2012

COURGETTE AND AUBERGINE LASAGNE




This is a different way to make lasagne. I had a couple of courgettes and an aubergine in the fridge and I wanted to make something different from the usual sauce or Parmigiana, so I decided to try this new dish. It takes a while (you have to grill or fry the vegetables first, then to make bechamel sauce...)but it is quite good, a nice alternative to the classic lasagne.

Ingredients for 4 people:

250 g lasagne ( I use De Cecco lasagne, the dry ones)
2 courgettes
1 aubergine
300 g mozzarella
150 g honey roasted ham
500 ml di bechamel sauce
20 g Parmesan cheese
salt
olive oil

Ingredients for the bechamel sauce:

60 g butter
50 g flour
500 ml milk
salt
a pinch of nutmeg

BECHAMEL SAUCE

Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the flour and simmer the resulting roux over medium low heat for a few minutes, mixing gently with a wooden spoon. Take care not to allow the roux to darken, and remove from the heat.
In a separate saucepan, bring the milk just barely to a boil, then pour it into the pan with the roux. Taking a whisk, whip the roux and milk together vigorously, then put the saucepan back on the heat and bring it up to the boil. It will thicken considerably when it gets to the boiling point. 
As soon as the sauce begins to boil, lower the heat to low and simmer for about 5-10 minutes, seasoning well with salt and a bit of nutmeg to taste.
Be careful not to allow the sauce to thicken too much. It will cook and reduce further in the oven, and will be absorbed by the pasta, so you want a loose consistency, just a bit thicker than heavy cream. If the sauce thickens too much, whisk in a bit more milk. The sauce will also thicken up as it cools, so bring it back up to heat and/or add more milk to thin it out before using it.
To avoid lumps, which can occur if the roux does not fully amalgamate with the milk, keep your roux rather liquid. (If you do end up with lumps, it's not all lost: you can always pass the sauce through a fine sieve or mix it in a blender.) 


LASAGNE

Wash the vegetables and cut them vertically into thin slices, then pour some oil in a large frying pan and grill them. Remember to add some salt when ready.

Cook the lasagne in salted boiling water ( remember to add a spoon of oil in the water otherwise the lasagne will stick to each other), then lay them on a layer of absorbing paper or on a towel.

Now cut the mozzarella into slices (better if you keep it in the fridge without its water for a few hours before you start).

Now put a few spoons of bechamel sauce on the bottom of an  oven dish and spread it evenly. Make the first layer of lasagne, then cover with some other bechamel sauce, then add a layer of vegetables, a layer of ham and some mozzarella.

Cover with bechamel sauce, then add more layers of lasagne, vegetables ham and mozzarella until you finish the ingredients.

Cover with bechamel sauce and put some Parmesan on the top.

Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes at 180 degrees.

When ready, cut into slices and serve.




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