Last weekend I was in my kitchen thinking about lunch when my eyes fell on a box of lasagna sheets. Of course, why not? So I made my favorite vegetarian lasagna an d snapped a few shots with my iPhone that I thought I’d share on my blog. So, what went inside my lasagna?
Lasagna sheets, plenty of fresh vegetables, a can of peeled tomatoes, a box of tomato paste, herbs (thyme, oregano, salt, pepper), 20g butter, 2 cups of low fat milk, 2 table spoons of white flour, and shredded mozarella and cheddar cheese.
As I had just been to the Co-Op I had my vegetables fresh and vibrant and fresh vegetable make all the difference in preparing food. The vegetables that went into my lasagna were: onions, mushroom, broccoli red peppers, green peppers, yellow peppers, orange peppers, zucchini, carrots, and a little bit of celery. All the vegetables, except the mushrooms and broccoli, were diced finely into tiny cubes, why? So they’d replace the ground meat in the classic lasagna recipe.
Now to prepare my tomato and vegetables sauce its very similar to how I prepare my Spaghetti Pomodoro sauce (post) but with one extra step. First, fry the onions in a little bit of olive oil until they are a tad translucent. Then add all the diced vegetables at ones and mix thoroughly. Do not add the mushrooms and broccoli though, keep them aside for now.
Season with salt, pepper, and herbs. Stir around gently until you can see the vegetable starting to soften a bit, around five minutes or so. Then open the can of tomatoes and pour it on top of the mix plus the tomato paste. Also, add about one cup of water as well and mix everything up.
Add some more salt, pepper, and herbs. You can add a cube of vegetable stock for more flavor if you want to or any seasoning you prefer. Turn heat down and keep the sauce simmering for about thirty minutes. While waiting for the sauce flavors to come together I opened up the over to 180 C so it would be preheated, cleaned up the kitchen, and started to prepare the béchamel sauce with the milk, flour, and butter. This is how I prepare it (post).
When the tomato sauce is finally done and the béchamel is also done, its time to assemble the lasagna. In the serving dish start with a base of tomato sauce, then layer the uncooked lasagna sheets. Top with a little bit of béchamel, the mushroom slices -you can sautee them or use them as is, they’ll cook in the oven-, the broccoli, a good sprinkle of cheese, some oregano, and then add a generous amount of tomato and vegetables sauce.
Top all those goodies with more dry lasagna sheets and start the process again until you reach the top layer.
Now top the entire assembly with the remaining béchamel sauce, cheeses and more oregano. The lasagna dish is now ready to go into the oven.
And into the oven it goes for at least 30 minutes. You can check in on it and look at how all the lasagna juices are bubbling and combining as it cooks.
30 minutes later and its done, the top all burned and crispy just the way I like it <3 The kitchen smells heavenly and I couldn’t wait to attack it. It must however sit out and be left alone for another 15 minutes so it could rest proporly.
I don’t have a picture of it being served, mainly because it was attacked viciously and mercilessly. But I can assure you it tasted amazing, beyond amazing. For a vegetarian person like myself its really hard finding a decent vegetarian pasta in Kuwait so making my own hits the spot just right. I can also control the amount of fat and extra calories that goes into it.
If you are gluten intolerant you can bake this with gluten-free lasagna sheets and use gluten free flour for the béchamel. If the portion is too big for you then you can always prepare the lasagna in smaller aluminum dishes and freeze them. They would be suitable for a day when you are too tired to prepare lunch and want something light. There is nothing better tasting than a deliciously rich freshly baked lasagna. Yum, the glory of satisfying comfort food <3
So, what’s for lunch today :p