Thursday, December 5, 2013

Canned Tuna Lasagna

Introducing another favorite pasta in my blog for the first time. Its lasagna everyone’s favorite noodles. There are lots of ways I cook lasagna, mostly I use beef or chicken as a meat but this time I tested with canned tuna and this recipe turned out as delicious as all other lasagnas I cooked. I tried to make this recipe as simple & easy as I can, I did not use mozzarella that’s because I could not get from any of nearby shops but I did include it in ingredient list, adding mozzarella will make this dish more delicious and complete. I can write lasagna is no lasagna without mozzarella. I really mean it :D 

With so many bitter experience with normal lasagna sheets I found out its best to use INSTANT lasagna sheets so that I don’t have to do precooking which saves time, well some time, and don’t have to be worried that my lasagna sheets will end up sticking to each other and the disappointment of not getting the perfect sheet.

There are few points you must remember when cooking with instant lasagna sheets 

1-    Always apply a generous amount of sauce in the bottom of baking tray before applying lasagna sheets.
2-   When applying instant sheets leave ½ inch distance from all the sides of tray and even in between each lasagna sheet.
3-   Never overlap lasagna sheets without applying a good amount of sauce.
4-   When cooking with instant sheets always apply a generous amount of sauce on the top sheets and then cover with cheeses but this is not necessary if precooked lasagna sheets are used only the cheeses will be fine.
5-   When cooking with instant lasagna sheets always cover with aluminum foil.
6-   If cooking a large tray cut the lasagna sheets after it cools a little bit otherwise will end up with a sticky knife and uneven lasagna servings but if cooking in individual small trays this is not necessary you can serve immediately. 

If you follow this you will get beautifully cooked lasagna. Just from my experience all these points I have noted. The reason why all this have to be done is no matter if the lasagna sheets are instant, it have to be cooked, and to cook this what acts is the sauce. If good amount of sauce is not applied you may end up with hard and rubbery lasagna. This recipe serves three. 

6 lasagna instant sheets
1 canned tuna in oil
1 big onion (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 medium carrot (chopped)
1 cup sliced cabbage (chopped)
5 beans (chopped)
1 big tomatoes (chopped)
1 cup water or chicken or beef stock or more
½ cup chilly & garlic sauce
½ cup tomato sauce
2 tbs tomato paste
1tbs lonumirus curry powder or chillie powder
3 tsp Italian seasoning or Italian spice
1 tsp dried oregano
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Vegetable oil or olive oil

Prepare a square baking tray 8” x 8” by lining with aluminum foil or if you have an oven safe baking dish you don’t have to do this. Set it aside.

To make sauce: In a pan heat oil, add onions & garlic saute until onions gets soft, into this add carrots, cabbage, beans and tomato saute until vegetables are soft. Drain oil from canned tuna fluff with a fork, drizzle tuna into the soften vegetables stir and cook for two minutes. Add tomato & chilly garlic sauce, tomato paste, lonumirus curry powder, Italian seasoning and oregano stir to combine.

Pour one cup water or stock cover and simmer for three to four minutes.  If you think your sauce is too thick add some more water or stock and cook to a thick consistency of pasta sauce which we get in bottles. Add half of the Parmesan cheese season with salt.

If using normal lasagna sheets cook in salted water with 2 tbs olive oil or vegetable oil in a large pot. When cooked drain excess water.

In the aluminum lined tray, ladle some sauce and spread along the bottom of the tray. Apply two sheets of instant lasagna sheets if using cooked lasagna sheets layer sheets edges overlapping.

Again ladle in some sauce sparingly into center and spread evenly on this apply a layer of mozzarella cheese. Place cheddar on top of mozzarella cheese, sprinkle grated parmesan cheese in thin even layer on top of cheddar cheese. Apply second layer of noodles, topping again with sauce and cheese. Finish with another layer of noodles. Spread last layer of sauce and cheeses over the top if you are using cooked lasagna sheets applying sauce on top will not be necessary only cheeses will be fine.

Cover lasagna tray with aluminum foil (not touching lasagna sheets or sauce). Bake at 190C for 45 minutes, check in between if the sheets are cooked by lifting the aluminum and pricking a fork, when the sheets are cooked it will be soft, there is no problem taking the lasagna tray out from the oven for a while to check.

Allow to cool before serving………………………… enjoy!

* To add Italian twist I added Italian seasoning & oregano but this lasagna can be cooked omitting those two spices, will taste great. From the pictures you can see I used very little cheddar cheese and I have crushed it in to big pieces. For an even layer always grate the cheeses and spread. 
* Keep updated with the new classes by checking under the label  Decorating & Cooking classes.

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