Lasagna is an baked Italian dish layering ribbon-shaped pasta sheets with white sauce, meat/vegetable mince with tomato sauce and cheese. I had eyed this dish nearly a month ago.. After extensive study, research and videos, (for two weeks) I, finally am coming up with this recipe... Here I will be discussing how to prepare & cook Lasagna sheets, preparation of two sauces (Bechamel sauce, Bolognese sauce) , Assembly, Baking and lastly how to store & reuse. I am also presenting Lasagna cups, a new variant of quick lasagna...
Beautiful Lasagna & Lasagna cups ready-to-consume.. Though they can be served with vegetable salad/any bread.. i preferred it alone. The taste was very nice and didn't require any sauce because the dish already have sauce in its composition :)
How to prepare & cook Lasagna sheets
- Normally Lasagna sheets are made up of wheat flour, eggs and salt. Since I had decided to make this entire recipe in vegetarian style, I replaced eggs with 2 tsp of soft butter.
- Prepare dough with 1 cup wheat flour, 2 tsp butter and 1/2 tsp salt. Refrigerate for half an hour
- Then knead it finely, roll out as thin as possible, later by placing any rectangular/ribbon shaped lid make an impression over the dough.
- Cut into neat rectangular strips, keep aside
- Heat two to three cups normal water in vessel on high flame
- When water starts to boil, lower the flame, introduce a single lasagna sheet into vessel
- At first, the sheet will sink to bottom. After sometime, the sheet will float to top, do not stir in lasagna before it floats to top,, otherwise it will break.
- After lasagna sheets floats to top, turn them to other side using a wooden spatula
- Cook for two minutes at simmer flame, at end of third minute, insert a knife at one corner and observe it. If the knife comes out clean and moist, lasagna sheets are cooked
- Be careful while cooking lasagna sheets because it will take less then five minutes for cooking
- Later on, using spatula remove the sheets and place on clean, moist cotton cloth. Let it drain. Repeat the same process for all sheets
- After lasagna gets cooled to room temperature, it is ready for assembly
Preparation of Bechamel/ white sauce
- This white sauce has equal quantity of butter and maida combined n cooked in milk. Seasoning requires salt, pepper and bit of nutmeg
- In a deep vessel take 2 tsp of butter and 2 tsp of maida/regular flour. Cook till it mixes well. Don't cook for too long, because the butter-maida mixture will brown and what we require is a white sauce
- After butter-maida mixes well, pour in one cup of milk, stirring continously with spatula inorder to incorporate milk properly
- Stir in continously for two minutes. at end of third minute, you will obtain saucy consistency.
- An ideal bechamel sauce when lifted through spoon, must stick slightly to it
- Season the sauce with salt, pepper (as per your taste) and pinch of nutmeg, keep aside
Preparation of bolognese sauce
Bolognese sauce is a meat-based sauce cooked with tomato concentrate. Here I replaced meat mince with vegetable mixture.
- Melt two tsp of butter in kadaai, add 2 tsp finely chopped garlic and 4 tsp finely sliced shallots
- Fry them well. Lateron, add 2 tsp finely chopped celery, 4 tsp finely chopped carrot, 4 tsp finely chopped mushroom and 4 tsp finely chopped broccoli
- Let them cook properly, if possible mash the vegetables while cooking using dal masher so that the mixture reduce to vegetable mince-like form
- After they get cooked, add 1/4 cup tomato sauce, salt, pepper and pinch of nutmeg. Keep aside
- You can also season it with chilly flakes
Assembly & Baking
- In a oil-greased baking tray (which is lined with aluminium foil) place bolognese sauce
- Top it with cooked lasagna sheet
- Spoon some bolognese sauce over lasagna sheet
- Spoon some bechamel sauce (If the sauce has thickened by the time of assembly, add 1/4 cup of warm milk to bring back to saucy consistency)
- Sprinkle generous amount of grated cheese
- Top it with second lasagna sheet... repeat the layers till third lasagna sheet gets covered with bolognese-bechamel-grated cheese. This is the final assembly
- This is popular variant of Lasagna, grease muffin tray and line in lasagna sheets over tray, forming a cover
- Spoon bolognese sauce, followed by bechamel sauce as second layer
- Finally sprinkle with lots & lots of grated cheese
Bake the prepared lasagna sheets & cups at 170 degree celsius for 35 minutes.
Storage & Reuse
- After preparing lasagna, let it cool down to room temperature
- Wrap it in plastic. Also wrap in aluminium foil as second layer, keep it in freezer
- This can be stored for 2-3 months
For reuse, transfer the content from freezer into normal refrigerator shelves, below to thaw overnight. At morning, re-heat them on pre-heated oven and njoy.....
Am linking this fabulous dish to Favourite-Nonindian food event,