Mmmm… what do you know about lasagna? Everyone knows lasagna, and it is very subjective dish to talk about. It all depends on one’s preference; the filling, the white sauce or even the whole lasagna can be the determinant. For me, it is about the whole package! It’s not my national food, so I cannot say what kind of lasagna is the best.
The original recipe is prepared using spinach pasta, bolognese meat sauce and Italian béchamel sauce. This particular recipe is known as Lasagne Verdi al Forno. There are various kind of lasagnas out there, all prepared according to one’s preference. There is the kind for meat lover (definitely using bolognese sauce), for the chicken lover (like in my recipe), and the vegetarian.
My lasagna recipe is a modification and combination of two recipes from ‘Pasta & Italian Cookbook’, I do not follow the exact main ingredients as to make it simple. Nevertheless, it is quite important to use minced meat in lasagna because the tiny-miny texture between the lasagna sheets give you a great taste. Good lasagna will stick together and won’t slide away from each other. So this is a real challenge.
Chicken & Mushroom Lasagna Recipe
Serving: 4 – 5 persons
350 gm boneless chicken; cut into small chunks
150 gm minced chicken
1 large yellow onion; chopped
2 large garlic cloves; crushed
200 gm oyster mushroom; wiped and halved
2 large tomatoes; boiled and chopped
50 gm fresh basil leaves; chopped roughly
2 tbsp cooking oil
salt, pepper and chilli flakes for seasoning
4 sheets lasagna
75 gm (5 tbsp) butter
50 gm plain flour
600 ml (2 1/2 cups) milk
1 egg; beaten
80 gm Parmesan cheese; grated
Chicken and mushroom sauce
1. Cook the lasagna in a pan of boiling water according to the instruction on the packet. Lightly grease the ovenproof dish to be used.
2. Heat the cooking oil in a pan. Add in the onion and garlic and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add the chicken chunk and stir-fry until the meat lightly browned, approximately 10-12 minutes. Add the minced chicken, mixing them well and crush any lump. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes.
3. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and mushrooms. Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes (Marsala), cover and simmer and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir and simmer further for another 15 minutes.
Note: you may add 1 tbsp tomato paste as to add red color into the sauce. If you use chopped tomatoes in a can, you can leave out the tomato paste as they are rich in color.
1. Melt the butter in a pan at a low heat, stir in the plain flour and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes until lightly brown. Remove the pan from the heat.
2. Gradually pour in the milk and mixing to form a smooth and runny sauce. Return the pan to the heat again and bring them to boil. Make sure keep on stirring until the sauce is thickened. off the fire.
3. Leave them to cool slightly. Beat in the egg, add in half of the Parmesan cheese and season to taste.
1. Arrange the lasagna over the base of a greased dish, spoon over a layer of chicken and mushroom sauce, sprinkle lightly with grated Parmesan cheese. This will form the first layer.
2. Now, place another sheet of lasagna over the cheese, then a layer of Béchamel sauce and another spoon of chicken and mushroom sauce and do not forget to sprinkle another grated cheese on top; this is the second layer.
3. For the final layer; place another sheet of lasagna, spoon over the meat sauce and finishing with layer of Béchamel sauce. Sprinkle over the grated cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 190oC for 35 minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately while it is hot.
1. The number of lasagna sheet used is depend on the size of an ovenproof dish to be used. The bigger the dish, the more lasagna sheet is needed.
2. You can substitute the Parmesan cheese with Cheddar cheese. However, Mozzarella cheese is not really suitable for lasagna.
3. Some people substitute the Béchamel sauce with a mixture of multiple cheese. It all depends on your preference.
4. You may add different types of mushroom to give more variety and flavors.
5. If fresh basil leaves are not available, you can always use a dried basil. It a matters of texture as the flavor will still be there.