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Thursday, 15 September 2011

Autumn Vegetable Lasagne

I've fallen in love with Tamasin Day-Lewis's book 'Supper for a Song', in fact, I have it on order from Amazon and can't wait for my copy to arrive, then I will be able to return the library copy for someone else to enjoy.

This recipe for Autumn Vegetable Lasagne caught my eye right away, because of course it is Autumn and I'm on a bit of a mushroom kick after the 'Art of Funghi' session I went to recently.

Autumn Vegetable Lasagne (not strictly vegetarian, but can easily be)

2 tbsp olive oil
200g/7oz chestnut mushrooms, sliced
20g/3/4oz dried sliced morels, soaked in warm water to cover for 30 minutes and drained (optional) I didn't use these, but included some ordinary field mushrooms.
2 tbsp Marsala, or port or Madeira (or red wine if you have a bottle open instead)
900ml/ 1/2 pts full-cream milk
1 bay leaf
60g/2oz butter
2 tbsp plain flour
sea salt and black pepper
nutmeg for grating
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
6 small green or yellow courgettes cut into  small cubes
400g/14oz tin cherry tomatoes
a handful of basil leaves, torn
6 slices prosciutto, sliced into long strips (optional)
1 packet of  lasagne
60g/20z each Parmesan and pecorino (I used Gran Padano as it is cheaper)

Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.  Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a small pan and cook the sliced mushrooms until they begin to release their juice.  Add the morels (if using) with their soaking liquor, and the Marsala and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat.

To make the bechamel sauce: heat the milk with the bay leaf in a pan.  Melt the butter in another pan, stir in the flour and cook for a minute or so  until you have a biscuit coloured roux, then add a quarter of the hot milk and whisk until smooth.  Continue to add the milk a little at a time whisking well.  Season and flavour sparingly with nutmeg.  Ad the liquor from the mushrooms and let the sauce cook gently for a further 15 minutes, stirring from time to time.  Adjust the seasoning.

Meanwhile, saute the onion and garlic in the remaining olive oil with a sprinkle of salt until they begin to soften, then add the courgette cubes and cook until  they are al dente.  Add the tomatoes and torn basil and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes.  Season with pepper.

Add the mushrooms to the bechamel.  Heat the prosciutto strips briefly in the pan used to cook the mushrooms with no extra oil, turning until they begin to crisp a little then add to the mushroom sauce mixture.

Cook the lasagne sheets, according to the packet instructions, until al dente, then drain in a colander.

Spread a little bechamel, avoiding the bits, over the bottom of a large baking dish, then add a layer of lasagne sheets.  Cover with half of the remaining bechamel mixture.  Add another layer of lasagne, followed by the last of the bechamel mixture.  Top with the grated cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbling, and a skewer inserted in the centre meets with little resistance from the lasagne.  Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving; this is one of those dishes that seems to stay hotter for longer.
I completely forgot to take a picture of the lasagne before I served it up, so all I have is a photo of the half that was left in the dish.  It served 8 easily with salad and was really delicious, it was also great reheated.

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At 16 September 2011 at 13:45 , Blogger Unknown said...

oooh it looks divine!... I love this kind of hearty, warm lasagne... really good! In fact, this is what I want for supper tonight!

At 16 September 2011 at 14:04 , Blogger Chele said...

And after Dom has fed me breakfast (re his post on pancakes and jam) I would be more than happy to sample some of this lasagne for my dinner and help say a final farewell to my nasty sniffles! Looks ever so lush and warm and comforting.

At 16 September 2011 at 22:48 , Blogger Karen S Booth said...

That looks absolutely amazing and my kind of food for Autumn too. I must look out for the book and that looks great Janice....I do love a good rustic lasagne.

At 16 September 2011 at 23:30 , Blogger Jacqueline Meldrum said...

That looks gorgeous Janice and as you say, easy to make veggie. Yum yum! Indulgence on a plate.


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I love to read your comments and try to reply when I can. I have had to enable comment moderation due to high levels of spam, so it may take a little time before your comment is visible. Please let me know if you make one of my recipes or if you have any questions I will try to answer them. Janice

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