Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Chicken and Pesto Lasagne

Another recipe inspired by delicious Magazine's Italian special!
Any GF'er knows that shop-bought, gluten free pasta is a really hit-or-miss affair - I've been cooking and eating gluten free since January now and in that time have come across some real winners and losers insofar as pasta is concerned. Delicious Magazine had a recipe for making your own fresh egg pasta and I had intended to make my own lasagne sheets for this recipe that I dreamt up. Unfortunately we had scrambled eggs for breakfast and guess who forgot to buy more... As a result I was forced to use 'quick' pasta sheets which resulted in a rather chewy lasagne because there's not a lot of liquid in it. Note to self - remember to buy lots of eggs next time! Other than that, this recipe tasted *really* good - again, shop-bought green pesto can either be really good or really bad. Fortunately it's really easy to make although my basil plant's looking a little sorry for itself now :-)

Serve the lasagne with fresh salad leaves - I dress mine with my favourite Honey and Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

30g Fresh Basil Leaves
100g Pine Nuts
2 Cloves Garlic
100ml Olive Oil

2 Chicken Breasts (chopped into small chunks)
1/2 Smoked Sausage (Matthesons (Kielbasa-style), chopped into half-rounds)
1 Small Onion (chopped finely)

1/2 Pint Milk
200g Cheddar (grated)
100g Mozzarella (sliced)
20g Parmesan
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
2 tbsp Cornflour

12 - 15 Fresh Lasagne Sheets
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 180 Celcius

1) Make the pesto first; blend all ingredients together in a food processor or with a hand blender, to a creamy consistency.

2) Fry the onion in a little oil until golden. Add the chicken and sausage and fry until cooked through and slightly crispy. Set aside.

3) Make the cheese sauce; mix the cornflour in a little of the milk until smooth, before adding the rest of the milk. Heat gently in a saucepan and stir in the nutmeg, bay leaf, parmesan and half of the Cheddar. Stir until thickened and set aside, removing the bay leaf just before use.

4) Assemble the lasagne; place the chicken and sausage mixture evenly over the bottom of a 9" square oven dish. Place alternate layers of lasagne sheets and pesto, finishing with a layer of pasta. Top with the cheese sauce followed byt he mozzarella slices and the remainder of the Cheddar.

5) Bake for approximately 30 minutes until the pasta is tender and the cheese is browned on top.