Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lasagne con le Verdure ~ Vegetable Lasagna

1 pound carrots, peeled, washed, and cut into 1/4 inch disks
6 TBS butter, plus additional butter for greasing the lasagna pan
6 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
1 pound zucchini, soaked, washed and trimmed and sliced into 1/4 inch disks (see below for soaking info)
1 pound broccoli
Oven Bake lasagna noodles

For the Béchamel:
3 cups milk
5 TBS butter
4 1/2 TBS flour
pinch of salt

1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1 3/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano

* After slicing the zucchini place it in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with 2 TBS of fine salt. Mix well and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes to give it time to throw off as much liquid as possible. Pat dry with paper towels.

Choose a skillet that can subsequently accommodate the carrots loosely. Put in 1 1/2 TBS of the butter, 2 of the garlic cloves and turn on the heat to medium. When the garlic becomes colored light brown and remove from the pan.
Add the carrots and 3 TBS of water. Cook the carrots stirring from time to time, until they are tender, but firm, somewhat shrunken, and a light brown color.Do not let them break up. When done, add salt and transfer to a small mixture bowl.

In a clean skillet large enough to accommodate the zucchini loosely, put in 1 1/2 TBS of the butter and 2 more cloves of garlic. Turn on the heat to medium. When the garlic becomes colored a light brown remove it from the pan. Add the sliced zucchini and cook them as you did the carrots. When they have shrunk, becoming colored a light brown, and are tender but firm, add salt stir, then transfer them from the pan to a small mixing bowl.

Wash the broccoli in cold water then peel away the hard green skin from the stems. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt then drop in the broccoli. Cook until nearly tender, but still firm. Drain as soon as it is cool enough to handle cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

Put 2 TBS of the butter and the remaining 2 cloves garlic in a clean skillet and turn the heat to medium. When the garlic becomes colored a light brown remove it. Put in the broccoli pieces and cook, turning them frequently, until they are tender but not mushy. Transfer them from the pan into a third mixing bowl.

Make the béchamel sauce. When done mix into it the grated nutmeg and 1 cup of the grated cheese. Set aside 1/2 cup of the béchamel and divide the rest into 3 equal parts. ( I doubled the sauce). Into each of the 3 bowls containing the cooked vegetables mix 1 of the 3 portions of béchamel. Taste and correct seasonings

Smear the bottom of the pan generously with butter. Spread 2 TBS béchamel over the bottom of the buttered pan. Line the bottom with a layer of noodles, fitting them edge to edge. (Do not over lap).

Turn oven to 400 degrees.
Spread half the zucchini and béchamel mixture over the pasta. If doesn't matter if there is enough to cover the pasta completely as long as any gaps are filmed lightly with béchamel. Sprinkle some grated cheese evenly over this layer.

Cover the zucchini with a layer of pasta, always edge to edge with out over laps.

Spread half the carrot mixture and béchamel mixture over the pasta in the same manner you spread the zucchini topping with a layer of grated cheese, and covering with a layer of pasta. Continue in the same manner with the broccoli and then repeat the above operations until you have used all the vegetables. Top with a layer of pasta and spread remaining béchamel sauce. Top with cheese. Dot with remaining tablespoons of butter. Place the pan in the uppermost part of the oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes until a light golden crust forms on top. Allow to settle for 10 minutes before serving.

Freezer method: Make up until the baking part and cover with foil. Freeze. Thaw in fridge for 24 hours cook 45 minutes to an hour until golden. You may need to cover with foil.

( I confess when I make this for my family I mash the garlic and leave it in:)

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