If there's something I miss the most, it's camping at a theater on the weekends. I can probably watch the same movie at home on a DVD, but it can't beat that theater experience. I am eagerly waiting for my daughter to grow up... with a hope that we can go back to watching movies, pick up those nachos and popcorn, sit back and relax to catch up movies in theater together as a family and revive that experience on 35 mm screen. For the moment, there's enough on my plate, that I can't seem to find enough time for movies or other entertainment.
Weekends have been catching on me like crazy, we did pretty much nothing but stayed back at home. Rest, rest, rest, that's all my body cries for... and weekend seems to be the only time I can catch a bit on my sleep, personal space and hobbies. I love it that I have so much in hand, hopping around like a bunny all the time with so much to complete that I have no time to think about anything.
Of-course, I missed baking through the week so much that I promised I would dedicate an entire afternoon doing just that. This Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna was my effort to make a gloomy weekend peppy. I think I was pretty much fruitful at that. :)
Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna
Lasagna sheets, about 8-10 numbers
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 ltr milk
A tsp of nutmeg powder
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 pack Button mushroom (about 200 gm)
1 bunch spinach
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Prepare the lasagna sheets as per the instructions on the pack.
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over a low heat and stir in the flour and saute until the mixture darkens slightly (about 1/2 min). Gradually pour in the warm milk, stirring continuously until the sauce is smooth and begins to thicken. Add in a bay leaf. Reduce the heat and stir until it boils. Stir constantly as it tends to settle and burn at the bottom if unattended even for a minute. Heat until the sauce thickens to a thick-custard consistency (about 5 mins). Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix in generous tablespoons of grated cheddar cheese.
Prepare the vegetables
Pick, clean and wash the spinach and mushrooms. Chop them roughly. Heat some oil in a pan and throw in the spinach. Cook till they are wilted. Add in the mushrooms and saute them for 2 minutes. Do not over cook else they will turn soft and mushy. Season with salt and pepper.
Assembling the Lasagna
In an oven-proof dish, layer the lasagna sheets first, followed by a layer of spinach and mushroom mixture. Follow it up with white sauce and spread it well. Layer lasagna sheets again, another layer of the spinach mushroom mixture, followed by the cheese sauce, then another layer of lasagna sheets followed by the remaining veggies and then the remaining cheese sauce. Top with grated cheddar cheese. Bake in oven at 180 C for about 30 mins or till the top cheesy layer browns.
Cook the pasta a little less than done (al dante), since it absorbs liquid from the sauce and cooks further when you bake in oven. The amount of cheese to be used is your choice, reduce if you are on a diet. But I suggest you use a big helping of good cheese since the paste per se lacks spices, especially if it uses the white sauce (as against my comparison with Indian cuisine), it's only the cheese that offers a rich taste to this dish. The lasagna is a meal in itself. Pair it with salads and they'll make a complete meal for you.