Goddess of Cake

Red and Green Lasagna
May 21, 2009, 22:47
Filed under: Cooking, spring seasonal food | Tags: , , ,

There is a retelling of a very old fairytale by H.C. Andersen, which tells about a maiden Elisa, who in order to save her seven brothers has to collect nettle from graveyards and knit sweaters for them out of it .  I have also once upon a time made yarn out of nettle, but this time decided to stick to cooking, since the fibre making process was quite a lot of work.

So I went out to get familiar with the woods outside of my new house, and did find some beautiful places and  lots of perky little nettles. Nettle is absolutely one of my favourite plants, being not very easy to approach but very healthy and useful indeed. It’s good to eat this time of the year when it’s still small, because later on it becames quite chewy and fibrous. Nettle is easiest found somewhere close to human settlements, not in the actual woods.

nettle lasagna

Lasagna with Nettle

Tomato Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cans of crushed tomatoes

2 small onions

2 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp fresh oregano

2 tbsp fresh basil

a  pinch of black pepper

salt and sugar to taste

Nettle Sauce

3 l of loosely packed nettle leaves

1 onion

1 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

a pinch of nutmeg

salt to taste

Bechamel Sauce

1 l oat milk

1 dl canola oil

1 dl wheat flour

salt to taste

Also:  250g whole wheat lasagna noodles

I started with the nettle, which should always be boiled before use in order to remove nitrates.  I separated the leaves from the stems, and threw them into boiling water, and allowed them to boil for about two minutes. Then I chopped the onions and the garlic, and added them and the nettle leaves into a pan, and let them simmer for about 10 minutes. Then I added the nutmeg and the salt.

The tomato sauce I made by chopping the garlic and the onion, and frying them in oil until the onion became limp. Then I added the tomato and let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes. In the end I added the spices and the salt.

The bechamel sauce I made by first heating up the oil in a cooking pot, and then adding the flour. After boiling the mixture until there were no lumps in the flour, I added the oat milk and brought the mixture to boil, mixing it every now and then. At this stage it usually thickens, but for some reason this time it didn’t happen. Must have been the new brand of oat milk that I was using, since I have made lasagna so many times with this recipe without any troubles. I ended up using only half of the bechamel sauce, even if with a normal thick sauce I would have used it all. Anyhow the consistency of the lasagna when ready was fine, even if the bechamel sauce was not very distinguished.

After making all the three sauces I assembled the lasagna by first greasing a pan, and then adding to the bottom a layer of tomato sauce, then a layer of bechamel sauce and then a layer of lasagna noodles. Then I added a layer of nettle, a layer of bechamel sauce and a layer of lasagna noodles, and so on, until the pan was full.

I baked the lasagna in the oven for 40 minutes, in 200°C.