The Cooking Process:
Preparing the Ingredients – This recipe appeared to be very simple for a lasagna so I was quite intrigued to try this. I started off by slicing the mushrooms thinly. I set aside five slices for garnish. Secondly, I peeled and diced the onion. Thirdly, I minced the garlic and finely sliced four spinach leaves into ribbons for garnish.
Boiling the Pasta – I added the pasta to boiling salted water and boiled for about 8 minutes – the pasta should be slightly underdone and still quite firm as it will cook further in the oven. I drained the pasta in a colander and rinsed under cold water.
Preparing Tomato and Cheese Sauce – I loved the fact that the tomato sauce did not need any cooking! The tomato sauce was made by combining the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, ½ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper into a mixing bowl. I set aside ½ cup tomato sauce which would be the final topping for the lasagna.
For the cheese mix, firstly I set aside ¼ the mozzarella for topping. . I then mixed the ricotta and remaining mozzarella together in a bowl. Instead of béchamel sauce which is standard for a classic lasagna, Home Chef uses a fresh cheese mix which is a lovely alternative and certainly easier to make!
Cooking the vegetables – I placed a large oven-safe non-stick pan over a medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. I then added the garlic and seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cooked for 1 minute. I prefer my garlic well-cooked but not burned. I added the sliced mushrooms to the pan and stirred occasionally until lightly browned, then added the onions and cooked for a further 3 minutes. I then stirred in the whole spinach leaves and cooked until wilted. Once it was ready I removed from the heat and transferred to a mixing bowl with the tomato sauce and stirred to combine. The smell was divine!
Assembling the Lasagna – Assembly started with creating three lasagna layers in the pan I used to cook the vegetables. The first layer was the vegetable-sauce mixture which had a dollop of ricotta and mozzarella on top and then I covered this with cooked pasta. This was repeated two more times, until I finished with a final pasta layer. I then poured the reserved ½ cup tomato sauce over the top and finished the dish with the reserved mozzarella and mushroom slices.
Baking the Lasagna and serving – I covered the pan with a piece of foil that I sprayed with cooking spray to prevent sticking. I placed the pan in the oven and baked for 15 minutes, then uncovered it and baked until golden brown for another 15 minutes. I let the dish rest for 5 minutes then simply garnished with the spinach strips and served. Bon appétit!
On a Personal Note:
This dish tasted delicious! I initially thought when I served the lasagna, that the serving size was too big to eat, but it was so tasty there was so nothing left on the plate.
Even though it took some time to cook (around 40 min in the oven) the cooking process was easy. One thing to note is that I did not receive the side dish of garlic bread. I felt that we did not need any more carbs to accompany the lasagna so it was not really missed. Luckily enough I had some lovely fresh lettuce at home so I made a green salad instead and used the ciabatta for lunch the next day.
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