Monday, 25 March 2013

Sausage & smoked cheese lasagne

Layer 1) 10 cherry tomatoes, 1 tsp butter. Layer 2) 4 Quorn sausages, 50g smoked cheese, 50ml buttermilk. Layer 3) 1 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp flour, 50ml milk, 1 egg.
Lasagne sheets/8 oz pasta flour, 4 eggs, 1 tsp olive oil, 10g cheddar.

Serves: Preparation: 1 hour (plus 2-5 for chilling the pasta dough)

Smoked cheese is something that I rarely cook with. The heady flavour can easily overpower the other ingredients, but if you get it right it's a fabulous addition to meat dishes or in my case, being a vegetarian - Quorn!
This twist on lasagne (for my classic lasagne recipe, click here) uses the sharp freshness of cherry tomatoes to cut through the smoked cheese.

1) To make the lasagne sheets: Pour the flour, olive oil, a good pinch of salt, 3 eggs and 1 egg yolk into a bowl and kneed with your hands until you have a firm dough. Wrap this in cling film and chill in the fridge for 2-5 hours. 

2) Slice the Quorn sausages in half lengthways and roast in the top of the oven for 10 minutes at 200 degrees. Set aside.

3) Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and then into quarters and shuck the seeds with your thumb. Discard the seeds and add the tomato flesh to a pan along with a teaspoon of butter and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Spoon into your lasagne dish.

4) Dust a worktop with pasta flour and roll out the dough into a sheet 1/3 of a centimetre thick. Cut out rectangles of pasta and roll these through a pasta machine (or continue using a rolling pin if you don't have one). Add your first layer to the top of the tomatoes and press down to ensure that each part of the pasta is in contact with the tomatoes. Add the Quorn sausages, cut side down on top of the pasta.

5) Grate the smoked cheese and add to a pan with the buttermilk. Stir through until a smooth sauce has formed and pour over the Quorn sausages. Top with a layer of pasta, pressing down to ensure that each part is on contact with the sauce.

6) Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan and stir a tablespoon of plain flour into it to form a roux. Take off the heat and whisk the egg into the roux along with the milk. Whisk through for about 5 minutes and pour over the lasagne. Top with grated cheddar and bake the lasagne in the oven for 10 -15 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

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