Lasagna di Broccoli.
I made this for lunch yesterday, as mom wanted broccoli lasagna. I’ve never made great lasagna before. But this one turned out special. If food could sparkle, this one would be blinding.
Maybe it’s because I didn’t follow any recipe this time. I just did and added what I think will be yummy.
How many pieces of pasta depends on the size of casserole you will use for baking the lasagna. I used a deep, square casserole with four layers of pasta. I had some pasta left over which I brushed with oil and wrapped in cling wrap and stored in the fridge for later use.
Although this is broccoli lasagna, by brother requested some meat. Lol. If you’re looking for just a veggie lasagna, skip the meat part and you’ll be fine.
It’s by pure chance I used tomato paste. We ran out of tomato sauce, which is a good thing, because now I know tomato paste is a bajillion times better for lasagna than tomato sauce. It’s not runny and it tastes amazing.
I also added béchamel sauce to this lasagna because when I learned how to make a good one from a French cookbook years ago, I did say I would like to add it to a lasagna. And I just remembered yesterday. Here goes.
12 pcs lasagna pasta
1/4 kilo ground pork
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 minced onion
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 cup pork/beef broth or half a cube of broth cube
4 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup evaporated milk or cream
2 large tomatoes
1 pack or small can of tomato paste
3 heads of broccoli, cut in pieces, stem removed, steamed
1 1/2 cup cheeses (combination of soft to hard cheeses like cheddar, mozarella, aged cheeses like romano, parmesan etc.)
6 tbsp. flour
4 tbsp butter
2 bay leaves
2 cups milk
Boil pasta in salted water. When done, take out of water, brush both sides with oil to prevent from sticking together and stack, set aside.
Make the meat part. Melt butter with olive oil in pan. Add garlic, prod around for a few seconds, add onion. When it starts to smell good, just after a minute and a few seconds, add the meat. Keep on stirring so it doesn’t clump together. Add broth or broth cube. If using broth cube, add 1/4 cup water. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring every now and then. Uncovered, let simmer for 5 more mins or so until the liquid has been reduced and oil starts to come out. Season with salt and pepper. Add cream or milk. Add tomato paste. Stir. Simmer for another few minutes. Set aside.
Make béchamel. In a saucepan, melt the 4 tbsp butter. Add the flour and whisk. Cook until it turns golden. Keep whisking so it doesn’t burn and cooks smooth and evenly. This took about 6mins, as I recall. Add half of the milk (1 cup) and whisk very quickly and vigorously. Make it super smooth and then add the rest of milk. Add 2 bay leaves fresh finely ground pepper, salt and about 2 dashes nutmeg. Cover and simmer for 2 mins. Whisk frequently. Set aside.
Get the steamed broccoli and make them into small pieces using you clean hands, they should be soft enough to no longer be making snapping sounds when you pull them apart. You should be able to break them easily.
In a large bowl, break the 3 eggs and whisk. Add salt and pepper. Add the cheeses and mix mix mix. Add the broccoli into this cheese and egg mixture and coat evenly.
Get your casserole and all the parts of lasagna: pasta, meat, béchamel and broccoli. Depending on how many layers you want, divide each of them into equal parts. (I made 4 layers of pasta. So that’s 3 layers of the in-between-stuff. So my meat, bechamel and broccoli are divided into 3 parts each.) Brush bottom and sides of casserole with olive oil. Lay one layer of lasagna pasta at the bottom. Add 1 portion of meat and spread. Add 1 portion broccoli over that and spread somewhat evenly. Finally add 1 portion of béchamel and also spread somewhat evenly. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Repeat until all layers are done.
Add the final layer of lasagna on top. Shred some cheeses on top, sprinkled with a pinch of two of salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake, COVERED, in oven preheated to 150C for 45 minutes or so. Or until the divine smells come wafting over to the den where you’re sitting watching TV, as you wait for the pasta to be done.
It’s fine if the cheese that got stuck on the sides of the casserole turn brown or black. It’s not very pretty but it’s fine. Like mine:
Take out of oven. Rest for 15minutes, still COVERED. Slice and serve.
I cannot stress enough that this has to be covered while baking and after baking. If not, the things gets dried out and tough and eww.
It’s worth the effort. :3