In many Goan Catholic families, Alle Balle is served as a Teatime snack. These delicious pancakes are stuffed with coconut and palm jaggery. Try it!
If you have read Garfield you know about Garfield’s love for Lasagna! So my first intro this dish was a cartoon strip. Then my belief was always that it’s a dish made with meats and the recipes on the Lasagna pasta box confirmed my belief. So making of a Lasagna was like okay… let’s see!
There are times I cannot give up my age old beliefs and this happened to be one of them. Then I read about a vegetarian lasagne in a forum. On my request the member shared the recipe too! I was pleased and made the recipe to the “T”!
My daughters were so thrilled Initially, but like a river where the water flows serenely but once there is a lot of input it overruns the banks, once the food in the tummy reached the full levels complaints started was told that I used all wrong vegetables, my sauce was not as good and so on and so forth ….. Till I never made lasagna again!
But this time around for the Blogging Marathon with alphabets I was gently nudged, then pushed and prodded, cajoled towards Lasagna with “our choice of veggies.”
I used tomato sauce and white sauce both you could use white sauce only. Also I had soft boiled eggs which I used in the filling you may opt out of them.
So let’s get down to the long process of making lasagna. The process is long but I must say the whole pasta tasted great. I made the lasagna twice once I made tomato sauce out 8 tomatoes, white sauce out of ½ cups of flour. I got 2 lasagna; I had to ration out the white sauce. for the second one should make out of ¾ cups next time if my lasagna quantity is same. The mozzarella cheese used was about ½ kgs.
For the Tomato Sauce:
- ¼ cup oil
- ½ teaspoon hing/asafoetida
- 1 cup chopped basil
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 6 cups tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tblspn tomato ketchup(optional)
- To make the tomato puree, wash and cut a small cross at the stalk of the tomato.
- Drop the tomato in hot water for about 10-15 minutes. Then peel and discard the skin grind the rest of the tomato. Set aside.
- Heat the oil add hing/asafoetida add the basil leaves and oregano fry for about ½ a minute.
- Add the tomato puree, stir and bring to a boil.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and reduce heat.
- Simmer till the mixture thickens.
For the white sauce:
(Makes 2 tea cups)
- ¾ cups whole wheat flour
- ¾ tblspn butter
- 6 cups milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a thick bottom kadhai/wok add the butter and the wheat flour. Mix well.
- Put the kadhai/wok on a low flame, stirring continuously; cook the floor till you get a nice aroma.
- Remove from fire and let it cool a bit.
- Add the milk gradually and mix well till there are no lumps.
- Return to heat and cook on low flame stirring continuously till the sauce thickens.
- Strain the sauce in a soup strainer to get rid of lumps, if any.
- Add salt and pepper and mix well.
One layer of filling:
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 200 grams of mushrooms
- 3 large onions chopped fine
- 6 cloves of garlic chopped fine
- 1 teaspoon oregano,
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning,
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper,
- dash of chilli powder
- salt to taste
- 6 soft boiled eggs (optional)
- Soak the mushrooms in a bowl of water for 10 minutes
- Drain and dry on a kitchen towel.
- Chop them into quarters and set aside.
- In a kadhai/wok heat the olive oil, add the garlic and stir. Do not let it turn brown.
- Immediately add the onions and cook till translucent.
- Add the mushrooms and stir.
- Add salt to taste.
- Cover and cook.
- Once the mushrooms are cooked add the oregano, Italian seasoning, pepper and the dash of chilli powder.
- Mix the sliced soft boiled eggs, stir well, check the seasoning and set aside.
Second layer of filling:
I decided to use potatoes as my second layer, for that you will need:
- 3 medium sized potatoes, sliced extremely fine (use the vegetable peeler if needed)
- Salt (adjust as per taste) , Italian seasoning, oregano (1 teaspoon each) and a dash of pepper
- Mix all the ingredients and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the potato to a skillet and cook them for 3- minutes.
- Set aside.
- 15 pasta/lasagne sheets
- 10 cups of water
- 2 teaspoon oil
- Plenty of salt
- In a big vessel, boil about 10 cups of water.
- Add salt and the oil.
- Once the water boils add the pasta. (Here I will like to add that I boiled only 5 sheets at a time for that were the number that I needed to layer my containers).
- Cook well, as the Italians call it “Al’ dente”
- Drain and use immediately.
- I had my daughters layering the pasta while i attended to the boiling of the sheets and getting them out.
- Grate mozzarella cheese and set aside.
- As the sheets are cooking, in a baking dish, arrange a foils to overhang. I prefer to put it in a cross. Overhang should be sufficient to increase the height of your vessel. If needed use staple pins to hold steady. ( for both the times I was glad I did increase the height of the baking dish,
- Grease the foil then spread a layer of white sauce.
- Arrange pasta/lasagne strips over the sauce.
- Spread the first filling, add the cheese (diet ko maro goli be generous).
- Arrange another layer of the pasta sheets, spread the tomato sauce and the white sauce.
- Spread a layer of potato slices over the pasta strips overlapping one another to form your second layer.
- Spread cheese over it.
- Spread the tomato sauce, and add a little white sauce over it.
- Put a layer of pasta strips over it. Tuck in the corners of the pasta.
- Spread the white sauce over the strips
- Add the mushrooms and another layer of cheese.
- Spread the tomato sauce over it.
- Lay another layer of pasta and tuck in the corners.
- Spread the last of the sauces. Sprinkle cheese liberally.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 50 mins.
- To check if the pasta is done do the knife test i.e. insert a knife or a skewer in the center. If it comes out clean your lasagne is done. If not done bake for 5 minutes again.
- Let it stand in the oven for 45 minutes with the door ajar.
- Before serving use the overhang to remove it from the baking dish.
- Cut and serve.
- I find it easier to boil the sheets as needed. This helps as the sheets do not dry out by the time the layering is done.
- I have used mushrooms and eggs as the filling you can try out paneer and spinach, cauliflower, brocolli … in fact I will love to hear more combos.
This is a part of Blogging Marathon where this September we, a crazy bunch of food lovers are blogging with alphabets and to make things a bit difficult we have added themes. Interested? Do check us out here.
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