Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Quick Vegetable Lasagna

This one was an on-the-spur dish when a couple of friends decided to stop by for lunch. I've had some lasagna disasters before, so how was I to know this impromptu variation, done in under an hour, will have my guests looking longingly at the empty dishes and asking when they could come back for more. Hence, no pictures but I had to write the recipe down before I forgot what I did!

First off, I boiled a large pan of water, added a bit of salt and dropped in 8 sheets of lasagna. The dish I bake my lasagna in snugly fits two sheets at a time, so you should boil as many sheets as you need for 4 layers. The package said I should let it be for 12 minutes, so I used the time to clean a bunch of spinach and chop it finely to get around a cup of greens. I popped it in a bowl alongwith 2 tbsp of water. I took another bowl, in which went 1/2 cup of sweet corn and another 2 tbsp water. Both bowls then went into the microwave for 2 minutes of steaming.

My pasta was cooked to al dente now, so I drained it, ran it through cold water and then spread it out on a large tray so the sheets wont stick.

Next step : white sauce. I melted a tbsp of butter in a pan. Added 2 cloves of minced garlic and swirled it around for a minute. Squeezed the spinach dry and added it to the pan. Stirred it until the water the spinach had exuded all dried out, then added a tbsp of plain flour and tossed it for a minute on a low heat. Taking care all the while that it doesn't brown. I then added a cup of milk, salt and pepper. As the milk got to a scalding point, I added a tbsp of cream cheese. Mixed it all in, and let it cook until the sauce started to thicken.

At this stage, I realized I didn't have enough time for tomato sauce from scratch. So I took a shortcut. First off, I took a tbsp of olive oil and a clove of minced garlic in a bowl and microwaved it for a minute. As the oil started to sizzle, I added a whole pack (200 ml) of tomato puree, a tbsp of white wine vinegar, salt and a hearty pinch of herbs de provence. I used Kisan Tomato Puree, and I think tomato paste might work if you don't live in India. I mixed it all up, and put it back in the microwave for 2 minutes. And that's my sauce. And I'm sticking to it!

Time to assemble the lasagna. A smear of tomato sauce and another of white sauce first to start it off. Then the first layer of 2 lasagna sheets. Cover it with tomato sauce, add a layer of white sauce and half the steamed corn. Another layer of lasagna sheets, followed by white sauce, tomato sauce and a layer of thinly sliced paneer (or ricotta if thats what you have). Then the lasagna, tomato sauce, white sauce and the rest of the corn. Cover it all up with your last two lasagna sheets, pour over the rest of your tomato sauce and top with a layer of grated cheddar.

I baked this at 160C for 30 minutes, and I am never going back to any other kind of lasagna.

4 comments:

Apu said...

Yumm recipe for Lasagna!! Next time grab a picture before digging in!!!!

Pavani said...

Recipe sounds delicious.. I'll be waiting for seconds too if I was served this.

Prathibha said...

When I was reading the last paragraph-the assembling part I felt like having lasagne immediately dear...hmmm missed d pic though..:(






Dr.Sameena Prathap
said...

Hi,

Love the lasagna...Looks yummy and great...:)

Dr.Sameena@

http://www.myeasytocookrecipes.blogspot.com