Whether the dish is hot or cold, vegetarian or non vegetarian, the options with pasta are limitless.
The word pasta comes from Italian pasta which shares its origins with “paste”, meaning “dough”, “pasta”, or “pastry” as in “small cake”. As recently as 1918 the English word “paste” was used instead of or alongside the Italian pasta. is a type of food made from the flour of certain grains mixed with water and/or eggs, which is then kneaded and formed into various shapes, and boiled prior to consumption. Pasta can be found in numerous different forms; both fresh and dried and in many different shapes and varieties, probably the most famous of which is spaghetti.
Lasagna, also lasagne (pronounced /lə’zan.jə/), is both a form of pasta in sheets (sometimes rippled, though seldom so in Italy) and also a dish, sometimes named Lasagne al fornocheese, and sometimes ragù (a meat sauce). (meaning “oven-cooked Lasagne”) made with alternate layers of pasta,
So much for the pasta…as for the British asparagus, it is locally available during the months of May-June…it not only tastes divine , but is one of nature’s superfoods. Asparagus is one of the leading suppliers among vegetables of folic acid.When picking the asparagus, one should look for firm, green spears with tight, crisp tips.
Both these ingredients are loved by us, so when they were put together along with a fresh tomato based sauce, it was a bit irresistible and went down very well at the dinner table a couple of nights ago.
So here goes-
6 sheets of lasagna
250 gms of asparagus, the tips separated and the rest chopped into small pieces
1 onion, chopped
3-4 pods of garlic, chopped
2 carrots, cut into sticks
1 pepper(any colour), sliced
200 gms of cheese(I used mature cheddar), grated
8-9 tomatoes, sliced
7-8 button mushrooms, sliced
1 C sweetcorn
1 and 1/2 tsp dried or chopped fresh herbs(rosemary, thyme, parsely)
4-5 tblsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pre heat the oven at 180 deg cel, gas mark 4.
Heat 2 tblsp of oil in a pan and add the onion, garlic,carrots and sliced pepper. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and stir fry for 5-6 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and herbs and simmer till the tomatoes are mushy and the sauce begins to thicken( approximately 15-20 minutes over low heat).
Add the tomato mixture to a blender to make a smooth sauce. Keep aside.
Microwave the asparagus including the tips with 2 tblsp of water for 4-5 minutes or until tender. alternatively,place them in a pan of boiling water and simmer till tender.
Heat 2-3 tblsp of oil in a pan and fry the mushrooms, sweetcorn and asparagus till the mushrooms soften. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Pick the tips and keep aside.
Grease a baking dish. Spoon 1/3 of the mushroom-sweetcorn-asparagus mixture. Sprinkle a little cheese( not much is needed at this stage as enough needs to be saved to cover the top), cover with 2 sheets of lasagna followed by 1/3 of the tomato sauce.
Repeat the last process 2 more times.Arrange the asparagus tips on the last layer of sauce and cover with the remaining cheese.
Place the dish in the centre of the pre-heated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.
Divide into portions and serve hot with fresh salad and bread ( we had the salad but forgot to put in on the plate while clicking(!!!), as for the bread, if there’s pasta, no one touches it, so…)
The lasagna tasted heavenly…the kids did not talk too much while eating (which is always a good sign as that means that either they like the dish or are too hungry to talk…the latter option can be ruled out as they had been stuffing themselves not so long ago, so…), neither did we grown ups…all of us too engrossed in savouring the dish and the the kids and their dad had their eyes especially on a second helping…which is always a very good sign… I can say that I usually manage to turn out fairly decent pasta dishes, but this one was one among the higher echeleons of my list. And again, since I’m so pleased with the way the dish has turned out, I’m sending the recipe over to Ruth , the host of Presto pasta night .