Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Veggie, Creamy, Cheesy Lasagna!

So yes, the other day I felt like some lasagna but I wanted to give it a twist. Make it special. Interesting. Different. So I left out the minced meat. Haha, yes! I made something that didn't include minced meat for once, imagine that! Indeed, this is a veggie lasagna, BUT it is gorgeously yummy. Very creamy and very cheesy, so even if you like your meat, you will definitely not miss it while eating this! Don't let the "veggie" fool you. It doesn't always have to mean "super healthy" as well. ;)

What do you need?

- 300-400g of spinach
- a 400g of mushrooms (just the regular kind will do)
- a pot of cottage cheese
- an egg
- 100ml cream
- finely chopped (curly) parsley
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 150g butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 500ml milk
- lasagna pasta (no pre-cooking needed type), I used the spinach-flavour kind
- 2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 200g grated mozzarella 
- 100g (more or less) grated parmesan cheese

What do you need to do?
First of all cook the spinach by shredding it into a pan with olive oil and the finely chopped garlic. When the spinach starts to reduce in size, add the cream and allow for the spinach to cook through and the cream to thicken.

Next mix together the clotted cream, egg and parsley. This needs to get to the texture of mascarpone, so basically really smooth. The best way to do this is by passing a mixer through. 

When the spinach is cooked and the cream has thickened, add it to the clotted cream mixture and leave aside after seasoning with salt and pepper and mixing that through as well.

Then, take care of the mushrooms. Take half of the mushrooms, brush them off and cut the ends off a little. Then, crush them in a mixer so they become a rough crumb. The other half should also be cleaned and then crushed between your fingers so they roughly fall to pieces. 
Take all the mushrooms and start cooking them with some olive oil in a pan. When the water has evaporated, add the lemon juice and soy sauce and stir it in. Set aside.

Finally make the cheesy béchamel sauce in a separate pot. Start by melting the butter. Once it goes frothy, add the flour and immediately start whisking it together. Then add the milk little by little, while continuing to whisk. This creamy sauce can get better by adding the parmesan and half the mozzarella to it and carrying on whisking until everything has melted.

When these three components are ready, you can finally start building the lasagna!

Pre-heat the oven at 200°C.
In a large lasagna dish, start by adding a thin layer of the béchamel sauce. Then layer on some pasta. Next cover the pasta with half the spinach mix and cover that layer with more pasta. 
Take your mushrooms and layer half of them on top of the pasta. Then carry on with everything else: spinach mixture, pasta, mushrooms, pasta and finally top it all off with the cheesy béchamel.

This needs to cook for about 35-40 minutes. At the last 5 minutes, add the rest of the grated mozzarella and you're golden! 

Finally, you can use leftover parsley to decorate your dishes!
This is reeeaaaally yummy, I promise! I was quite pleasantly surprised myself actually, so don't hesitate and give it a go! ;)

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