The Laborious Lasagne

Roasted vegetable lasagne

This recipe has home-made pasta sheets, oven-roasted vegetables, made-from-scratch tomato sauce, bechamel sauce, home-made bread crumbs.. well that’s an afternoon’s work. But what I like about lasagne is that the whole thing can be made and assembled days ahead, and you can just bake it 30 minutes before you serve! Not a shabby week-night dinner, if you have it all assembled over the week, eh?

I agree, home-made pasta sheets are pushing it too far, but trust me, they are extremely simple. Well even if you use store bought pasta sheets, you will not be compromising too much on the flavor, as long as you don’t use store bought sauce.

Veggies ready to be roasted

Roasted Vegetable Lasagne

Ingredients: (For a five layer lasagne)

Pasta sheets – 5 (or more if you are using store-bought) (Go Here for Pasta Dough Recipe)

Tomato Sauce – 

Onion – 1, diced fine

Garlic – 2-3 cloves, minced

Carrot – 1, grated

Tomatoes – 1 can of whole tomatoes

Fresh thyme- 1 sprig

Salt and Pepper to taste

Bechamel Sauce-

Butter – 2 tbsp

Flour – 2 tbsp

Milk (Whole Milk) – 2 cups

Garlic – 1 clove, minced

Nutmeg – freshly grated, a pinch

Salt and Pepper to taste

Roasted Vegetables-

Carrot – 2 medium, sliced

Eggplant – 1 medium, sliced

Zucchini – 1 large, sliced

(Use any vegetables you have on hand, make sure to slice them even. Mushrooms work great as well)

To Assemble

Grated parmesan – 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup

Breadcrumbs – 1 cup

Method:

1. To make the roasted veggies: Place all your veggies on a sheet pan (don’t overcrowd) in a layer. Add salt and pepper and olive oil and roast it in a 400 oven for 20 – 25 min.

2. To make the tomato sauce: Saute the onions and garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil for a minute. Add the carrots (to cut the acidity, better than sugar) and saute for another minute. Add the can of tomatoes, 1 can of water or stock (just wash the same can you emptied), thyme, salt and pepper and let it simmer for 15 minutes on a medium flame. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. This is my go-to tomato sauce.

3. To make the bechamel sauce: Warm the milk in the microwave till hot. Melt butter in a pan. Add the flour and whisk well, so there are no lumps. Cook the flour for about 3-5 minutes, till it smells nutty. Add the hot milk in batches and keep whisking till there are no lumps. Add the garlic and continue cooking for about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and nutmeg.

4. Make your fresh pasta sheets, or prepare your store bought sheets as per the package instructions. Just don’t over cook it, I normally just use the fresh sheets as is, or soak the store bought ones in warm water so they are easy to use.

5. To assemble: Take a square pan (or any pan you like, I’ve even used my loaf pan once) and spread a teaspoon of tomato sauce at the bottom as glue, then line the first pasta sheet. Since this is a 5 layer pasta, spread 1/5 of the tomato sauce evenly, then 1/5 of the roasted veggies, 1/5 of the bechamel sauce, and then sprinkle an even layer of parmesan. Then cover it with the pasta sheet, and continue till you have exhausted all the sauces. Cover with breadcrumbs and remaining parmesan, drizzle some olive oil on top. Bake your lasagne in a 350F oven for 30 – 35 minutes till the top is nice and golden brown.

6. Wait for 10 minutes for the lasagne to cool a bit, then slice and serve!

Tips:

1. Make it ahead, till the very last step. Bake when needed!

2. If you like your lasagne cheesy, then include a layer of grated cheddar or gouda.

3. Don’t overdo with the sauces, then it won’t bake right in the given time, and won’t slice well.

4. Breadcrumbs are easy to make : Pulse in your food processor stale bread and you have it. Add any seasoning: garlic and onion powder and dried parsley will be nice.

P.S. It is quite laborious isn’t it? Ah, once in while it’s alright, I guess!

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One response

  1. Pingback: Vegetarian Meatballs | Oysters and Lemons

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