Beetroot mousange (or lasakka)

This is a recipe I invented once, basically coz it seemed like a good idea. It’s half way between a lasagne and a mousakka – hence the silly name. It’s a bit complicated, but worth it – good if you want to impress veggies. One day, I may post the recipe for the vegan version of this.

All the quantities are rough, so feel free to play around, and you can vary what veg you use, as long as you don’t use things that’ll over-cook. It doesn’t have to be beetroot.

What you are aiming to end up with is a dish with layers of tomato and beetroot sauce, and layers of white sauce, separated by, alternatively, layers of lasagne pasta, and layers of fried aubergine slices. This dish is best cooked by 2 people, though one can manage it.

*Note – at the very end of this recipe, you put the whole thing in the overn for 45 mins or so. So you’ll need to start a good while before you want to serve.

Ingredients:

For base:

1 onion
3 or so cloves of garlic
3 tins of tomatoes
5 or so carrots
4 or so beetroot
A jar of (pitted or chopped) black olives
2-3 veg stock cubes
Dried or fresh basil

For white sauce:

1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
Butter
Flour
A punet of mushrooms
1 veg stock cube
250g of cheap cheddar cheese
Vinegar
Nutmeg

For layering:

2 aubergine

Lasagne pasta.

for the topping:

feta,

egg

nutmeg

Preparation:

First, roast your root veg for the sauce.

A. Pour some oil (any kind, but olive is best) into a pan. Put it in
the oven, at a medium temperature.

B. Chop your beetroot and carrots into chunks – the carrots, about 1/2
an inch thick. The beetroot into quarters (or more if they are big ones).

C. Put the carrots and beetroot into the now heated pan, and put it
back in the oven.

D. Remember to check on these every 15 minutes or so until they are
done. They should take 45 mins – 1hr

Second, prepare your aubergine:

A. Cut them into long thin slices the full length of the aubergine, so
they are rather like lasagne pasta. Ideally they will be about 1cm
thick.

B. Heat vegetable or sunflower oil in a pan (olive oil won’t get hot enough).

C. Put a plate beside the cooker, ideally with a few layers of kitchen
paper on it.

D. Fry the aubergine slices, 3 or 4 at a time (or as many as will fit in your pan while still touching the bottom of the pan). Flip them occasionally, until they are gently brown on both sides.  Work your way through your slices, topping up the oil as needs be. Pile the cooked slices on the plate with the kitchen paper, occasionally adding new paper to collect excess oil.

Third, prepare your 2 sauces. You may want to do these simultaneously. You are making a white sauce, and a tomato sauce, so you will need 2 separate non-stick pans.

Tomato sauce
A. Into the pan for the tomato sauce, put 2 roughly chopped onions,
your garlic, and some oil. Cook these, stirring occasionally, until
they are translucent.

B. Add the tins of tomato, stock cubes, the jar of olives and basil,
salt and vinegar (you will need some salt to break down the tomatoes
properly).

C. Leave this for 10 – 15 mins, stirring occasionally.

D. Take the beetroot and carrots out of the oven, and add them to this sauce.

E. The longer this cooks (on a slow heat) the tastier it will get, so feel free to leave it if your other things aren’t done yet. Add other tasty things as you go, red wine, for example, goes well.

White Sauce:

A. Thinly slice an onion, and crush a clove of garlic.  Cook these in
oil and a large non-stick pan at a medium heat.

B. Roughly chop the mushrooms. Once the onions are translucent, add
the mushrooms and some salt (again needed to break them down). Turn
the heat up slightly. Stir regularly, allowing any liquid to
evaporate.

C. Once the mushrooms have started to break down, push them to one
side of the pan. In the other, put a largish lump of butter. Once this
has melted add a handful of flour. Fry the flour in the butter. Keep
stirring, and scraping the flour off the bottom before it burns. This
should begin to form a paste called a roux. Crumble your stock cube
and throw it in, mixing it into the roux.

D. Keep tasting the roux until it stops tasting of raw flour (careful
not to burn your tongue). Once it reaches that stage, mix it in with
the mushrooms, and add a pint or so of milk, slowly, stirring
vigourously as you pour it in. Add a few shakes (or a few grates) of
nutmeg. Taste it and see if you want to add other things. White wine, for example, may be good.
Fourth, make your topping:

crack an egg or two into a bowl, mix in a cube of feta (quantities don’t matter too much), and whisk vigerously, adding plenty of nutmeg as you go.

Fifth, assemble your moussange.

In a heat proof pan, put about a quarter of your tomato beetroot and carrot sauce.

Lay the pasta strips on top, smother this in a layer of white sauce, and then put a layer
of your fried aubergine over the top, like a lid.

On top of this, add more tomato sauce, and keep layering the various ingredients (apart from the feta topping) like this.

On the very top, pour your feta/egg mix.

Then put the whole thing in the oven at a medium temperature for 45 minutes. You can test if it’s done by stabbing a knife through it and seeing if the pasta is soft.

Then, serve, and eat.

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One Response to Beetroot mousange (or lasakka)

  1. Pingback: Shepherd’s mousakka | 101waystocookmushrooms

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