10/11/2011

Lasagne

Lasagne - classic comfort food and an excellent way to use up pretty much anything.

Here, I made up a filling from softened onions, garlic, mushrooms, cubes of carrot, some peeled plum tomatoes, green lentils, thyme and salt & pepper.

Lentils are part of the Fabaceae or Leguminosae family: legumes, and as such have no place in the paleo diet, yet are tentatively acceptable as part of what I would call a paleo+ diet.

Legumes as a family represent a wide spectrum. When considering food sources, one does need to look at the whole, the big picture - red kidney beans represent the most toxic end of the spectrum, while lentils represent the least toxic. Beyond paleo Archevore author Kurt Harris makes no mention of legumes, in fact, considers them a useful food source although not ideal.

Legumes MUST be prepared by soaking and then pressure cooking. Canned legumes will have already been soaked and then pressure cooked, or super-heated with steam.

With the filling made, we now need to make up a bechamel sauce.

Bechamel is the simple combination of butter, flour and milk and heightened with a touch of nutmeg.

Melt some butter in a pan - a centimetre slice off the end of a block of butter will do just fine.

Sprinkle some flour into the butter and whisk. Still sloppy? Add more flour. Once the flour balls up and looks as if you should discard it and try again, pour in a little milk and whisk ... a little more milk, still whisking and a little more, until the sauce has come around to a thick sloppy sauce. About half to two thirds of a pint of milk is required. Spice with a little nutmeg.

Spread some bechamel sauce into the base of an ovenproof dish and make a layer of filling.

Top with thin slices of marrow.

Repeat, creating a second layer.

Crown the dish with a final layer of bechamel sauce and sprinkle on some grated cheese.

Commit the dish to a pre-heated oven set to 180C for about 20 minutes to cook through, soften the marrow and melt the cheese.

Instead of marrow, sorghum flatbread might well be a reasonable replacement for pasta sheets.

Alternatively, sourcing gluten-free pasta sheets might be okay, but I do have an inkling that the processes involved in creating gluten-free pasta places the food outside of a source I would be happy eating. Sheets made simply from rice flour could well be acceptable.

Anyway, serve out onto a plate. Accompany with some Chips and a ramekin of butter softened spinach with a good kick of white pepper.

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