Last Sunday, I was in a cooking frenzy. I made a pot roast, Italian style, and lasagna. The lasagna recipe came from one of my 2000 Bon Appetit magazines. I’ve not included the recipe as I’ve found that one doesn’t need a recipe to make a good lasagna.
The vegetables I used were eggplant, zucchini, carrots, celery, onion, and potato. Since zucchini and eggplant are loaded with water, you’ll find that it’s important to cook down the mixture to a fairly dry mix before making your lasagna. I cooked the zucchini and eggplant first (salt the eggplant earlier to draw out some water before cooking.) Once the vegetables in the pot were half-cooked, I added the remaining ingredients and some chicken stock. For the next 25-30 minutes, I cooked the vegetables on the pot. They’ll cook down to the point where they’re nearly melded together. If you use a russet potato, you’ll find that the starch in the potato does an excellent job thickening the mixture.
The next part of the dish to make is your bechamel. You’ll want to make a very thick bechamel. For a 9×13 pan, I combined 6 cups of milk with 6 tablespoons of butter and a 1/2 cup of flour. You’ll want to cook the butter and flour together first…just like a traditional white sauce. Then, add your hot milk whisking vigorously. As with any white sauce, be sure to add a bit of very freshly grated nutmeg. Salt and peper to taste.
I created four layers of noodles. Start with bechamel on the bottom. Then, layer pasta. Next, layer 1/3 of the vegetable mixture and some additional bechamel. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Continue.
The result, after baking, is a delicious, tomato-free lasagna. The dish is rich. 8 very large servings, 12 decent servings, or 16 health-conscious servings. Good luck!