May 26, 2011

Mushroom and Bacon Lasagne

I had some lasagna sheets left over from the lasagna i made two weeks ago.  Unfortunately, the home-made ones don't keep as well as the shop-bought variety, so i was quite keen to use them this week.  With the chilly, rainy Winter setting in, i felt like some good ol' soul food.  One of my favourite comfort -food combinations is mushrooms and bacon.  Mix that with a creamy white sauce and a bit of pasta and you have heaven on a plate - well, for me anyway.  And, it seems, for my husband too, as his eyes lit up when i described what i was going to make for dinner!  I didn't have a recipe, just made it up as i went.  It is really not complicated at all, so for those of you who feel like a stress-free, soul-uplifting dinner, here you go:

Mushroom & Bacon Lasagna
Serves 6 (or 4 if you eat as we do!)

2 onions, finely chopped
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
250 g bacon, diced
250 g mushrooms, sliced
90 g butter
1/2 cup flour flour
500 ml milk, slightly warmed
lasagna sheets

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Add a splash of olive oil to a medium-sized pot and bring to a med-high heat.  Sauté the onions and celery until soft and slightly translucent.  I wanted to retain the liquid that usually evaporates during this process, so i kept the lid on.  {TIP: If using raw lasagna sheets when making a lasagna, it is nice to have a sauce that is a little bit on the more liquid side so that the pasta has some liquid to absorb during the cooking process.  You will find that your lasagna cooks more quickly this way.} Add the bacon and fry until cooked. 

You can either add the mushrooms at this point or:  Melt some butter (approx 2 tablespoons) in a pot.  Add the mushrooms.  About half way through their cooking time, add 2 tablespoons of sherry and place the lid on the pot.  This gives a lovely nutty flavour to the mushrooms.  

While this is cooking you can start your white sauce.   Melt the 90 g of butter, add the flour and mix thoroughly until you have a smooth paste.  Gradually add the warm milk, stirring all the while so as to prevent the formation of lumps.

Add the mushrooms and white sauce to your bacon mixture.  Starting with the mushroom and bacon mixture, build the layers of your lasagna.  I used a square casserole approximately 20 cm x 20 cm.  Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for approximately 45 min.  Bon appetit!
{TIP:  If you are in a bit of a hurry, you can cook your lasagna sheets before putting the dish together.  Just be sure to make your sauce a bit thicker in this case.  You will need only to bake this for 15 minutes!}

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