Today I felt adventurous so I decided to play around with, what must be the most traditional of all pasta dishes. Lasagna is a classic Italian pasta casserole dish which consists of alternate layers of pasta, cheese, a sauce, and often other ingredients. As with many Italian dishes, significant regional variations exist. In some areas, the sauce is likely to be a simple tomato sauce or a ragù; this is mainly common to the southern regions of Italy, in others, a Béchamel sauce, more commonly used in the Northern regions. For my version, I took inspiration from Gordon Ramsey who always adds a new take to tired dishes. The difference with this Lasagna is that it is built up on the plate layer by layer and not baked in the oven.
I started by making the pasta (see my basic pasta dough recipe) cut into sheets and left to stand for about 3 hours. Then I deep fried sliced aubergine and yellow peppers and left to one side. While frying, I made a basic Napolitana sauce (tomato base) and added sliced black olives, and put to one side. Finally, I sliced 4 large chicken breasts in half, placed between two sheets of cling film and beat each one individually with a mallet. Then I marinated in olive oil, NoMu’s chicken stock fond, lemon juice and black pepper, rolled in flour and fried in butter till golden. Once all the ingredients where ready, I started the process of creating the lasagna. I put on a pot of fast boiling salted water and par boiled the sheets for about 5 minutes then put them on a baking tray, brushed with a little egg and put in the oven for another 5-8 minutes. Once done, I started the layering process – a sheet of lasagna, followed by some Napolitana, a slice of aubergine and some grated parmesan, then another sheet followed by a chicken breast, then repeated the Napolitan, aubergine and parmesan, topping off with one last sheet. It looks really interesting and tastes really good too!