Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lasagne takes a Mediterranean Vacation

One of my favorite foods through the years has always been lasagna. The layers of meat, cheese and pasta all blend together into something amazing. My friend Scott gave me a recipe for Moroccan meatballs and sauce last year that was great. One day while working on something else and thinking idly of food, I wondered how that recipe would work as the basis for a lasagna. A bit of research and experimentation later, and this what I ended up with. Tastes pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. If you want something a bit more authentic than the mozzarella, find a middle eastern grocery store and get some Akawi cheese instead.

Middle Eastern Lasagna

8 oz mozzarella cheese
3 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 large egg
1 tsp chopped parsley
10.5 oz package goat cheese
1 lbs ground lamb

Sauce ingredients
2 Tbsp ground coriander
2 Tbsp Ground cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
¾ tsp ground mustard
¾ tsp paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp chili powder
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp parsley, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 29 oz can tomato puree

1. Preheat oven to 375F

2. Sauté shallots and garlic in olive oil. Add lamb to pan, and sauté until brown. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients to pan, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Combine goat cheese, egg, 1 tsp parsley and 2 oz mozzarella cheese. Set aside

4. Spray bottom of 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Put down 3 sheets of phyllo dough. On top of dough, put 1/3 of the meat and sauce mixture. Put 3 sheets of phyllo dough over the meat sauce. Dot this with 1/2 of the goat cheese mixture. Do not try to spread the cheese mixture, as it will just tear the phyllo dough. Repeat these layers until you run out of dough, meat sauce and cheese. On the top layer of phyllo dough, spread the crumbled feta, and then cover all with the remaining 6oz of mozzarella cheese

5. Cover pan with foil, and put in middle rack for 35 minutes

6. Remove foil and turn oven down to 300F. Cook another ten minutes, until edges are golden brown.

7. Remove from oven. Let lasagna sit for ten minutes before cutting.

8. Enjoy!

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