This is my second post on Lasagna. You can refer the first version here. This time I followed a renowned chef’s recipe and tried recreating the exact Italian flavor, taste and prepared sauces in an authentic way. Though it was time consuming the end product was so delicious and am not scared of Lasagna anymore 🙂 We invited our neighbors for lunch and since they too love Italian dishes, I chose this one. The picture quality is not that great since I was frantically working in kitchen, doing 10 other things and clicking pics was kind of difficult for me. Will try to upload clearer pics when I do it leisurely on some other day in future.
Step 1 : Cooking the sheets.
Boil the readymade Lasagne sheets in water with a little oil and salt. Boil one or two sheets at a time. It will take around 6-8 minutes to get cooked.Strain water and remove them. Wipe each sheet with a kitchen towl and place it separately. This will ensure that there is not much of moisture in the sheets.I used 8 sheets.
Step 2 : Making Bechamel Sauce or white sauce
- Onion 1
- Black Peppercorns 1/2 tbsp
- Bayleaf 1
- Nutmeg powder a pinch
- Milk 4 cups
- Butter 2 tbsps
- Plain flour 2 tbsps
- Parsley a spring
- Salt a pinch
- Black pepper powder a pinch
- Parmesan or cheddar cheese (Grated) 1/4 cup
- In a sauce pan boil milk Add sliced onion, bay leaf,Black peppercorns and parsley. Let it boil for sometime.Strain the milk and keep aside.
- In another non-stick pan heat butter.Add plain flour to it and keep sauteing until the flour is cooked.
- Add milk little by little, keep on stirring the flour so that lumps are not formed
- Now to this mixture add nutmeg,salt and black pepper powder.
- Keep stirring and add grated cheese until you obtain a creamy texture.
- White sauce or Bechamel sauce is ready
Step 3 : Preparing vegetarian version of Bolognese Sauce :
- Onions – 1
- Tomatoes – 3
- Tomato Puree – 1 cup (You can use store bought or make fresh home made puree with 3 tomatoes)
- Carrot – 2
- Celery – 1 stick
- French beans – 2 (optional)
- Garlic – 1 whole clove
- Olive oil – 2 tbsp
- Fresh Basil leaves – few (or you can use a tsp of dried leaves)
- Salt – a pinch
- Black pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
- Oregano or mixed Italian herbs powder – 1/4 tsp
- Chop the vegetables finely
- Heat olive oil in a deep sauce pan and saute the veggies along with garlic
- Donot add water. After sometime the veggies will be cooked and it will start changing colour
- At this stage add tomato puree, salt and black pepper powder and add some water
- Let the whole mixture boil.Simmer the heat and close the pan
- Let it be at the stove for about 30 minutes minimum. This reduction of sauce is important
- After around 40 minutes your faux bolognese sauce will be ready
Step 4 : Mushroom layer
Since we both love mushrooms I have included this mushroom layer. You can totally skip this step and just assemble lasagne with just the above two sauces prepared. However if you would like to add some crunch and flavor to lasagne you can either add mushrooms or add some blanched spinach inbetween.
I have just sauteed button mushrooms in olive oil with some garlic,salt and pepper. Make sure the mushroom is not too runny. This might ruin lasagne. Make sure the moisture is all absorbed when you assemble lasagne
Step 5 : Cheese
You need to grate atleast 250gms of cheese. I didn’t get parmesan hence combined mature cheddar cheese and light cheddar cheese. The lasagnes served in restaurants will be even more cheesier. This is totally according to your taste and convenience.