I’ve cooked pasta many times but never lasagne. At first , it seemed to be a very complicated dish. Cooking the sheets, the vegetables and then lining them seemed to be a lot of work. Little did I realize then that this is what happens with a regular pasta also, and the only thing different with lasagne is that it is baked.
So when I made up my mind to actually cook Lasagne, the search for the perfect sheets began. They had to be eggless, and should not be close to their expiry date (if you shopped in the super markets around Kothaguda junction in Hyderabad, you’d know what I am talking about). After a lot of search, I found the a batch of eggless sheets, which were bought right away. And the keeda to cook lasagne has been fed into this brain of mine.
Last week, when I was clearing up my fridge on a lonely evening, I made a big batch of red sauce, in the hope of it easing my work on a Pasta day someday. It happened to be today, and the entire assembling of lasagne took me exactly 20 mins. And another 40 mins to bake it. There, sumptuous dinner was ready in 1 hour.
I did not follow any recipe to do this, except just the basic idea on how to cook the sheets, the lining of the lasagne and the vegetables in the dish, and the baking time. It was all guesswork on how the ingredients would be lined up, and I think that is what happens in all the cases.
In order to appeal to the Indian palate, I decided to season the eggplants when they were being roasted, so that there would be a distinct flavour and a taste when we get to only the eggplants. I also poured some salt on the cheese to ensure that the cheese does not render the dish salt-less. And that worked in my favour. I also sprinkled some black pepper powder along with the salt to make the cheese have some spice too.
I baked this in a 9x4 inch very thick glass dish, and the contents served the two of us, with a little more left. Guess it will be good for 3 also.
Red sauce (homemade or store bought) – 2 cups
Lasagne sheets – 8-9, cooked per instructions on the box
Eggplants – 8 small sized ones, washed and diced to be thin inch long pieces
Olive Oil – 2 tbsp
Cajun seasoning – 2 tbsp, or a mix of Oregano and Red chilli flakes
Sea salt – Per taste
Black pepper – if required, per taste
Mozzarella cheese – 1 cup
Cheddar cheese – 2 slices
Pat the lasagne sheets dry with a kitchen towel.
In a deep pan, heat the olive oil and roast the eggplant slices in it. Add salt and seasoning to this, and let it be on heat for a while.
Meanwhile, pour one layer of the red sauce into a deep baking dish, and line the lasagne sheet on it.
Remove the eggplant from the stove and line a layer of this in the dish on the sheet.
Line the dish with lasagne sheets, Mozzarella cheese, red sauce, lasagne sheets, eggplant layer and a lasagne sheet lining.
At the top, spread the red sauce in a thin lining and top it up with Mozzarella and Cheddar cheeses.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 185 for 40 mins, or till the cheese gets a golden brown colour.
This particular photo was shot after I was done half eating. I loved the look of the layers in my plate so much that I couldn’t resist shooting this.
The minute I put a fork full of lasagne into the mouth, there was a medley of cheese, tomato sauce, the seasoning on the eggplants and it was heaven. :-)