Thursday, May 25, 2006

Veggie Lasagne

Because I was tucked up in bed very contentedly and highly asleep all last Saturday morning it meant that I wasn't in William Rose Butchers on Lordship Lane. The knock-on effect of this was no meat at home for Mr Atrocity this week. So I made a veggie lasagne instead. I hadn't tried making one before and didn't have a recipe so I busked it and I was quite happy with the results so I'm recording it here lest I forget.

If you make your own pasta, make the dough first. This can be resting whilst you make the sauces. I made the simple 4oz Tipo 00 flour to 1 egg variety with no semolina or extra yolks. I made 4 eggs worth of dough. Once that was in the fridge doing its glutenous thing I set to work on the rest.

Peel and finely chop 2 medium onions, 2 large cloves of garlic, 4 large carrots, 3 large courgettes and 2 peppers. Put a good slug of olive oil in a heavy bottomed stockpot and heat. Add the onion and garlic and begin to fry till the onions go translucent. Add the remainder of the veg and stir for a couple of minutes to get everything mixed and starting to cook. Chop 8 tomatoes into eighth's and add these to the pot. Pour over a mug full of vegetable stock and add a squirt of tomato puree and a little sugar, salt and pepper. Put the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to let this all simmer and become saucy.

Turn on the oven to heat up to 180 degrees Celsius.

Once your pasta dough has rested (I leave it for about an hour) roll it all out and make it into lasagne. I have one of those pasta mangles which makes finer lasagne than using a rolling pin and doesn't leave you with fore-arms like Popeye once you're done. You could use a rolling pin, but your pasta will be quite a bit thicker.

Next take the lid off the veggies and see how they're doing. I found that there was a bit more liquid than I'd like in the pan at this stage so I left the lid off to get some of the excess to evaporate. Now make a regular mornay sauce. The usual, make a roux (with butter), add milk and then cheese (without rennet if you're doing this properly) and allow the sauce to thicken as it simmers. I tend to stir the sauce with a balloon whisk as it minimises lumps.

Now put a layer of veg, some mornay sauce and a layer of pasta in a ceramic dish and build up the layers till its full or you run out of filling. Make sure that you leave enough mornay to thinly cover the top layer. I added some black pepper over the top at the end. Pop it into the oven and cook till the sauce on the top has turned pleasingly golden.

Eat it.

That's it.

The end.

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