Next week I will be hosting it and I am so excited. I really like this event. It has been literally the soul of the English version of my blog. It was a long time ago that I told Kalyn, the event creator, that I would love to host it one day.
This week I will make it by the skin of my teeth. I have had a really busy weekend and just had time to stop and prepare something an hour ago to be exact. I have been thinking about this open lasagne since Tuesday. I wanted to have a light lasagne and also a very seasonal one. So I chose mushrooms.
This is what I read about mushrooms which I did not know: The Pharaohs thought they were food from heaven; the Romans spread them throughout their Empire and from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance they were an autumn feast.
I watched this show on BBC2, What to eat Now, and found out that I could watch the first episode on the website. It is all about seasonal food. This is where my inspiration came from.The first show followed Valentine Warner, the new cook on the block – he says that he is not a chef, walking in the woods with a mate collecting mushrooms and truffles. They gathered quite a few mushrooms but no truffles. And they ended up preparing some scrambled egg with truffles that Valentine’s friend had in his pocket. Valentine prepared this lovely oven baked lasagne as well when he got home. I decided that I wanted mine to be an open lasagne. I just thought that it would be much lighter and I wanted to try my idea.
I had no special recipe - just what i saw on the show. I had a bunch of different types of mushrooms which I sliced and cooked in a very hot pan with a bit of butter, finely chopped garlic and thyme. Towards the end I seasoned it with salt. You could add black pepper if you like. I then set the mushrooms aside, boiled water for the pasta and proceeded to prepare the spinach. In the same pan where I had prepared the mushrooms I threw a big bunch of spinach with more chopped garlic and let it wilt. I then seasoned it with freshly ground nutmeg and a wee bit of salt. I transferred the spinach mixture to a colander and let the excess water from the spinach drain. I cooked the lasagne sheets and then once cooked I heated a non stick frying pan and threw a tiny piece of butter in and a bit of ras el hanout, that beautiful Moroccan style spice which has amongst other things rose petals. I just fried it a bit in the oil and then just threw the lasagne sheets in, one by one, so that they got a bit of the ras el hanout on them.
I then assembled the dish: one sheet of lasagne, a bunch of mushroom, another sheet of lasagne, bunch of spinach, another sheet of lasagne and some grated parmesan cheese on top. I thought of adding goat’s cheese to the spinach originally but in the end decided not to.