To be honest I’m not a big lasagne lover, I do love the MIL’s mini meatball and egg lasagne which she does at Christmas, a similar recipe is actually in this month’s Taste Italia magazine!!! Lasagne is one of our most popular dishes in La Cucina even though most people seem to order chips with it to give it that Irish twist;) We do a huge amount for catering with meat being the most popular choice. Actually mention lasagne in Ireland and everybody thinks of meat, one of the nicest lasagne I’ve had has been a simple pesto lasagne. I spotted this recipe in the Silver Spoon a while back and I liked all of the ingredients so I decided to give it a go this week. It turned out to be a little difficult to do as the princess decided that being down on the floor is just not as much fun as being up in Mammy’s arms while she is trying to put a lasagne together so the two of us actually made it one handed!! She’s in full walking mode by the way which is such a relief, my back is back to it’s normal position!!:)
By the way, if anyone has an Italian dish that they love but can’t quite get the recipe right or if their is a dish you have had in Italy and have never seen it outside of Italy and would love to make it let me know and I will do my best to find the recipe in question, make it and post about it. Robert has asked me about an Aubergine style chutney that he regularly has in Italy but has never seen the recipe for here so I’m on a mission to find it at the moment. There is an aubergine caviar in the Silver Spoon but I don’t think this is it so my search continues!! As always let me know in the comments or by email!!
WHAT YOU NEED:
– 2 large aubergines sliced.
– margarine for greasing
– 300g lasagne sheets – available in La Cucina
– 50g pine nuts, chopped
– 150g ricotta cheese
– 120ml/40z tomato puree – available in La Cucina
– 12 fresh basil leaves
– olive oil for drizzling
– 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese
WHAT TO DO:
– place the aubergine slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave to drain for 1-2 hours.
– rinse, pat dry and cook under a preheated grill until tender.
– preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
– grease an ovenproof dish with butter.
– cook the lasagne in a large pot of salted boiling water with a dash of olive oil for 6-7 minutes until al dente, drain and place on a damp tea towel.
– arrange a layer of lasagne on the base of the prepared dish, place half the aubergine slices on top and sprinkle with half the pine nuts, half the ricotta, half the tomato puree and six basil leaves.
– drizzle with olive oil and repeat the layers.
– sprinkle the top with lots of parmesan cheese and bake for 40 minutes.
Random Cooking Term – “BATTUTO”
onion, carrot, celery and garlic chopped with a heavy knife form the basis of many Italian dishes. It is sometimes sauteed with pancetta, pancetta fat or pork-back fat as a base for minestrones and meat dishes.