martedì 2 febbraio 2010

Zucchini and Smoked Salmon lasagne: Kitch'n Dahling never gives up


I have taken health quiet superficially lately, so –it appears -  God sent his wrath on me by giving this MAJOR cough resulting from the explosive mix of tonsillitis, laryngitis and pharyngitis.

And let me tell you how this ain’t the fun part yet: the cough was (is) so harsh and deep that the continuous coughing tore my back muscles (right hand side of the lumbar region). Everytime I cough now is like being stabbed in the back with the addition of a lot of moaning and weeping. And that’s how my pneumologist prescribed 2 weeks of absolute rest and LOADS of medication…

To cut it short, do you think this prevented  me from having a friend over for lunch last Sunday? Nope,not, nay!:)

To be honest,I made this really good lasagna the day right before my back completely collapsed: symptoms had shown with a little back ache so the cooking wasn’t feeling so demanding to know better and rest properly all day long.

These incredible creamy lasagne are a recipe from my friend Sonia, who made it for us on Jan 1st when we joined to celebrate the new year together: they are so easy to make and so hard to go wrong, that I challenge you to mess ‘em up.


12  very thin pasta sheets (like Rana’s sfogliavelo)

1/2 spoon of butter to grease the casserole

6 medium zucchini (about 500 grams)

2 spoons of olive oil

2 shallots thinly sliced

1/2 liter of besciamelle sauce

150 grams Parmigiano Reggiano

whole milk if needed (about 3-4 spoons)

200 grams good quality smoked salmon cut in small pieces ( I normally buy the already sliced version you would normally use for sandwiches and cut it in smaller bits with scissors)


1.Wash the zucchini and slice them with the aid of a mandolin. Heat a wok  with the oil on medium heat, add the shallots and let them become translucent, 2 or 3  minutes.

2.Add the sliced zucchini, let them fry without turning them for 2 minutes: when it’s time to,  try not to use a spoon to do it, cause the zucchini are rather fragile; I suggest you flip the wok as the Chinese cooks do so you will prevent the vegetables from breaking. Add salt and pepper and cook for 7-8 minutes in total (the veggies will easily finish cooking in the oven).

3. Now, if you have the besciamelle  ready, or use the canned one, all you need to do is wait for the zucchini to have cooled down a bit and add the sauce to the veggies. If the mixture is too thick add some milk, for you want it to be creamy enough to easily spread it on the pasta sheets. Add the diced salmon.

4. Let’s put the layers together: after greasing it, litterally line the casserole with the first layer of pasta, making sure the sides are well covered. Spread one thick layer of the  vegetables/besciamelle/salmon mixture, add a generous sprinkle of grated parmesan and proceed with the same pattern until the pasta is over ( I make at least three layers with 12 sheets, you can make up to 5, but I suggest you don’t make your lasagna too thick or it will be harder to cut it in clean servings ).

5. Put a thicker layer of parmesan on the upper layer, so the lasagna will brown nicely: put in the oven at 200°C for 30 to 45 minutes, until the surface is brown and bubbly. Let cool for 5-7 minutes (not in the oven or it will dry out!) and cut in pieces.

Serves 4 to 6

Tip: I like my lasagna moist and creamy, so the besciamelle is not "just one of the ingredients”, but THE INGREDIENT: don’t be  stingy with it and if it is too thick (or if you think your pasta sheets are thick) add enough milk to cream it further (remember that additional liquid helps to cook the pasta sheets through) .

You will simply love the feeling in your mouth!  ENJOY

 creamy zucchini and smoked salmon lasagne original picture by Kitchn Dahling