Monday, 17 September 2007

Spinach, Polenta Lasagne with Goat’s Curd

Here is another attempted recipe from the recent Australian Gourmet Traveller. The more I use their recipes the more I realise, I find the way their recipes are written too much and more complex than necessary. I guess that shows a lot about my cooking skills. Chuck it in mate! Haha.

The recipe says to make you home-made goats curd and pasta, but I just bought some good quality goats curd & fresh lasagne sheets. If anybody is interested in either of these, just leave a comment and I’m happy to add it.

This recipe interested me as it was so different from any lasagne I had made or seen as well as the combination of the traditional tomato, with the curry leaves, lentils and the goats curd and the polenta. During the making and building I didn’t think I’d enjoy it but when I sat down, popped a little in my mouth I was surprised by the complexity and subtlety of the flavours. It’s worth a try if you’re looking for something different.

So here is my adaptation.

80grams lentils
2 bunches of spinach, trimmed
50grams butter
20 curry leaves
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp coriander seeds, roasted
¼ tsp ground mace
4 large ripe tomatoes
Olive oil
180 grams polenta
750 ml boiling water
250grams goats curd
375 grams of fresh lasagne sheets
Salt and pepper

For spinach filling, put lentils in saucepan and cover with salted water. Simmer for an hour or until tender.

Reserve a little of the water the lentils have been cooked in.

Blanch the spinach in a large pot of salted water for 30 seconds, then refresh in cold water. Drain, squeezing out all the excess water and roughly chop.

Heat the butter until brownish and add the curry leaves, 3 garlic cloves and onion and cook until brown and soft. Add the cooked lentils and spices and season. Add the spinach and set aside.

For the tomatoes, preheat the oven to 200C. Remove the cores of the tomatoes and score the bases with a cross, drizzle with olive oil and put them in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Peel and coarsely chop. Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan and the remaining garlic. Add the tomatoes and stir occasionally for 10-15 minutes. Season and set aside.

Put the 750ml of boiling water into a stainless steel bowl over a pan of simmering water (bain-marie). Whisk in the polenta and stir over a low heat for 10-20 minutes until thick. Add ¼ of the goats curd and mix thoroughly.

Oil your lasagne tray and lasagne tray and cover the bottom with lasagne sheets. Then put the polenta on top, and indent with fingers to hold the tomato sauce.

Then put on half the tomato sauce and cover with more lasagne sheets.

Then top with the lentil and spinach filling, reserving 2 tablespoons of spinach mixture for the end sauce.

Top with more lasagne sheets and pour over the goats curd as top layer and sprinkle with a little extra polenta. (My curd was quite firm so I made it a little liquid-y by mixing in some milk).

Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.

Combine the leftover tomato sauce and the tablespoons of spinach mixture and simmer. Serve lasagne drizzled with the tomato, lentil and spinach sauce.


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