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zondag 16 september 2012

Homemade lasagna à la Ijeoma

Lasagna time! My most favourite dish ever and always an excuse to eat too much. Since I still work - and have to eat alone most of the time - I insisted on making this in the weekend so that I could be there too. 

I took this recipe from my mum, ages ago. The base is still the same, but I made some little changes which makes it better (in my humble opinion :p).

It's really different from the prepacked lasagnas you can find in any supermarket: there's not a lot of bechamel sauce to make the lasagna totally bland, it's full of vegetables and it's totally fresh!

Ingredients for 4-5:
- 1 kg carrots
- 2 zuchinis
- 3 bell peppers (red, green, yellow or any combination you like)
- olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 500 grams of minced (pork-veal) meat
- 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon of herbes provençales
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- chilli flakes to taste
- 2 small cans of tomato paste
- 200 grams Emmental cheese, grated
- 100 grams Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- 500 ml milk
- nutmeg, pepper and salt to taste
- lasagna sheets (about 9)

How to:
Cut all the vegetables, the onion and garlic in small cubes.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Fry the onion and the garlic in it.
Add the minced meat and stir continuously so that it doesn't get burned.
Now stir in the carrots. Put the lid on the pan and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add the peppers and leave them again with the lid on top of the pan. They have to have gotten tender.
Put the zuchini in with all of the herbs and the tomato paste. Make sure all is spread out evenly in the pan. Let simmer with the lid on for another 30-45 minutes.
Make a bechamel sauce with the butter, flour and milk. Season with the nutmeg, pepper and salt.
Now make the lasagna by layering the vegetable-meat sauce, the bechamel sauce, the grated cheese and sheets of lasagna (about 3 per layer). End with cheese so that the lasagna can get a nice crispy crust on top of it. Put enough sauce on the sheets of lasagne as they won't get tender when they're not wet.
Take from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes.
Serve in large enough portions (see picture ^^), you'll see that you just can't stop eating anyway ... 

It is simply too delicious to throw away the left-overs. Keep them aside and rehaet them in the oven. The taste is even better after a day!

We were only three this time. My sister wasn't at home, so we just divided the slightly smaller lasagna between the three of us. A lot! (I dicided to take a long walk with our dog to reduce my guilt about overeating :) )

P.S.: mushrooms in it are also a very nice option! Fry them a little and put them in the vegetable-meat sauce or make them as a seperate layer.

Buon apetito!

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