Friday, November 19, 2010

Vegetable Lasagna

My 1st memories of a good veg lasagna was way back in 1993 when I was just married and went to Germany where my husband was working.During his bachelor days, one of the fastest ways out of the kitchen apart from frozen pizza was a lasagna .I tried the veg version and was hooked.A German friend tried to replicate it when she called us for dinner and failed miserably.I don't give up so easily and so started my lasagna journey.Those days the sheets were not available and I rolled out maida sheets and made it.It tasted great but it took too much time.Now with things so easily available, its very regular on the dinner table.I use the ready made sauces here as its quick but I would be giving the recipes of the sauces to make at home.
Vegetarian Lasagna
Lasagna sheets                    about 15( samosa pattis too do the job)
broccolli                                500gms
red bell peppers                   1 no
tofu                                      200 gms
Zucchini                               1 no
onions                                   2 nos
garlic chopped                      1 tbsp
red chilli flakes                      1 tsp
oregano                              1 tsp
pepper powder                  1/2 tsp
salt to taste
frozen spinach with cream     200 gms
tomato pasta sauce                500 ml
white sauce                            250 ml
grated pizza cheese                200 gms
olive oil                                  2 tbsp
For tomato sauce
peeled and chopped tomatoes from  1kg
chopped onion                          1 no
chopped garlic                           1 tbsp
mixed herbs                                1 tsp
salt to taste
pepper powder                           1/2 tsp
olive oil                                       1 tbsp
sugar                                          1/2 tsp
White sauce
refined flour                              1 tbsp
butter                                        1 tbsp
milk                                          1 cup
bay leaf                                    1 no
salt and pepper to taste
clove                                        2 nos

Soak the sheets in hot salted water.Add some olive oil in it and keep till they are soft.drain and keep aside.
In a pan add flour,cloves, bay leaf and butter.Saute till golden. On slow heat ,slowly add milk and keep whisking to avoid forming lumps.Add about 1/4 cup water, salt and pepper.Keep cooking till the sauce is thick and pouring consistency.Keep to cool
In another pan, heat oil and add chopped garlic, saute well and add onions.Cook till translucent.Add tomatoes and cook well.Add the rest of the ingredients and cook till the sauce is thick.
For preparing the filling,Dice all the vegetables and tofu. Heat oil and add garlic, saute, add chopped onions and saute.Add all the vegetables and cook for 5 mins.Add the seasonings, chilli flakes and oregano.Cover to cook for about 3 mins.The vegetables should be crunchy and bright green.Add the tomato sauce and spinach with cream(can use boiled and crushed spinach and 50 ml cream if frozen not available) and mix well. Now the dish has to be compiled together.
In a baking -12"x10" big dish apply a little butter at the bottom. Layer it with about 5 sheets of pasta sheets.Pour half the vegetables on it and put another layer of pasta sheets.Pour half the white sauce on it and spread well.Sprinkle half the cheese on it.pour the rest of the vegetables,pasta and then the white sauce.Top with the rest of the cheese.Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg.Put the dish in the middle rack and bake for 10 mins.Now reduce the temperature to 180 deg and bake for further 20-25 mins.The top should be golden brown, if the heat is too much reduce the temperature and if the top is browning too quickly, cover with a foil and bake till done.A very juicy, healthy and delicious dish is ready to eat.

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