Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mushroom and mozzarella lasagna

Basically, I have a weakness for baked cheese and dishes that are generously sprinkled with cheese on top like pizza, lasagna, potato gratins, cheese macaroni etc. Lasagna has remained a firm favourite with me since school-going days. It is one of those scrumptious one-dish meals that can be made both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. For me, nurturing my loved ones is my foremost way of displaying love. On a day such as Valentine's Day, I want to treat my family to something special and in my mind, lasagna is that perfect meal to be served on an occasion like this. I also wanted to make this a vegetarian fare with mushroom and mozzarella.
To assemble the lasagna you need bechamel sauce, ragu sauce and lasagna noodles. I followed Ancy's recipe and steps on everything except to make the ragu sauce. Ragu sauce is the meat sauce and I opted to make a vegetarian mushroom sauce instead. The lasagna turned out creamy and delicious. Making lasagna is less time-consuming than most would think. If you like lasagna, don't be afraid to give it a try. Thank you, Ancy, for the delicious recipe and the clear instructions. You can click here to visit her space and view her recipe. I also want to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day! I hope everyone has an enjoyable day today.

Ragu sauce:
5 tomatoes
200 g mushrooms
1 cup water
4 tsp tomato pur√©e
4-5 garlic cloves
4 tsp olive oil
1 tbs dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tsp sugar

Bechamel sauce:
50 g salted butter
4 tbs all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk (500 ml)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of grated nutmeg

For assembly:
Lasagna noodles (as required)
20 g salted butter
150-200 g mozzarella cheese

To make the sauce, begin by cutting the tomatoes. Finely chop the garlic. Slice the mushroom and put aside. Mix the tomatoes and garlic in a mixer, before cooking them. In a large pan, add oil, the tomatoes, water and tomato puree. Mix well. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix and cook on medium to below medium heat, until the mushrooms are soft. The sauce should not be too thick (the water will be absorbed by the lasagna noodles when placed in the oven). Put aside this while preparing the bechamel sauce.

To make the bechamel sauce, heat the butter on below medium heat. Once it has melted, turn the heat to medium heat. Sieve the flour into butter, while stirring so that it doesn't get burnt on the bottom. Continue to stir for another 8 minutes or so until the sauce has turned light golden brown. Then add the milk, little by little, while stirring. You need to continue to stir for another 10 or so until the sauce has thickened. Half way into this process, season the sauce with salt and pepper. Take the sauce away from the stove but don't stop stirring. I stirred for another 5 minutes to steam off the heat (as it was still very hot) so that the cream didn't get burnt on the bottom.

I used lasagna sheets/noodles that don't require pre-cooking. If you have bought lasagna noodles that need to be precooked, please follow the instructions given and pre-cook them accordingly. To assemble the lasagna, use half of the butter to brush the bottom and the sides of a baking or oven-safe dish. Add some bechamel sauce and even it out on the bottom. Arrange one layer of the lasagna sheets, with the edges overlapping. Spoon the ragu sauce over the noddles and spread it evenly on it. Then spoon in some bechamel sauce and repeat the process. I repeated the process until my ragu sauce was finished. Spare some bechamel sauce to place on the topmost lasagna sheet. Grate or slice the mozzarella cheese and spread it over the bechamel sauce. Dollop the remaining butter on top. Bake the lasagna in the bottom third of a preheated oven at 175 C (350 F) for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool down to room temperature before serving.


Mahi said...

Nice Recipe Rathai..my hubby is a big fan of Lasagna! :)

BTW,where are the photos of the Lasagna?!;)

Rathai's recipe said...

I was soo hungry by the time I took the lasagna out of the oven, and that was late evening. I only took some shots and the pictures turned out a little dull. I will take some more photos in the morning tomorrow and see if they turn out better. :)

Will definitely post at least one or at least the pictorial. ;)

Sangeetha M said...

great recipe yaar...love lasagna n tried only once n it was half success...will try this for sure...
Happy Valentines Day!
Spicy Treats
OnGoing Event:Show Me Your HITS~Healthy Delights

TinaRBK said...

Ha-you and I do have the same weakness when it comes to italian dishes! I rather like the idea of using mushrooms in place of meat-especially portabellos! Thanks for sharing this tasty recipe. Also wishing you and yours a wonderful Valentine's!

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Oh, your mushroom lasagna sounds incredible!!! Perfect comfort food!

Anzz said...

Lasagna is the perfect comfort food. I could have it any time of the day.. honestly.! I am glad you liked it dear.. :)

My event- Valentines Day Special

Kanan said...

I love lasagna. your recipe is very nice. but where is the picture I am dying to see pic of your lasagna

Rathai's recipe said...

I am sorry guys for keeping you waiting. Hope you guys like the pictures. :)

Jayanthy Kumaran said...

sounds new & very interesting...great recipe..
Tasty Appetite

Kanan said...

I like your pictures.

Rathai's recipe said...

Glad you liked it, Kanan. :)