– Lasagna Cannelloni —

Believe it or not my kids hate the mainstream lasagna or perhaps I might not make it tasty enough, eeeiishh (that can’t be it I’m hoping 😏) They will not eat lasagna if it’s a flat sheet and cooked in the mainstream way but if you innovate and make it wrapped or baked as cupcakes, it fascinates them and not once do I have to worry whether or not they will like it because they are drooling over it. I think it’s their creativity and imagination that kicks in, the more innovative the more appealing (I guess that’s why MineCraft and Legos are so popular) and this is why I always say, my kids have compelled me to dress my food and dress it fancy. Every time I’m cooking I’m already thinking of ways to present it (those lil monster critics have given me a run for my cooking 😆) Can’t complain though, its a good opportunity to play around with my imagination; an exercise drill for my mind. 

These are what I call Lasagna wraps and as a friend of mine likes to call them lasagna cannelloni and one other who likes to call them lasagna rolls; but, as Shakespeare has said it “what’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet” (that’s from Romeo and Juliet if anyone is wondering). Basically what I am getting at is, call it what you want or make it anyway you fancy, it will still be lasagna, and, it will taste just as divine. 

So one day I was feeling a little creative and I whizzed up the basil and roast pepper sauce and initially had planned to make nachos but ended up making lasagna wraps. I will get to the sauce in a minute but before I do that, I would just like to add that my love for roast peppers is credited to none other than Jamie Oliver. He is as I say it saviour of savour. I was introduced to a whole other world of flavour because of him. 

Anyway! Let’s move on and as I was saying, I was so fussing about cheese that day, cheese on everything when it comes down to baking most of the recipes and I just didn’t want to opt for the cliche’ cheddar or mozzarella or Parmesan for that matter; it really seems as a sorority which everyone just wants to have and all the other cheeses are understated. So i decided to use cottage cheese and to my surprise the marriage of the sauce and cheese and red onions sprinkled over the top with fresh basil was symphony. Cottage cheese is a regular in my grocery list from then on and I look forward to experimenting with it with other recipes. Now, coming to the wraps, the best thing I ever did with lasagna sheets; my kids were fascinated by the wrapping and the meat and mushroom filling oozing out of it, it was gobbled up in minutes. They were so engrossed in eating it they didn’t even realise there were green chillies in the filling — Wow! Definitely did something right. So it’s proudly said, this was a tastebuds heaven. 

The sauce for this recipe was made very recklessley to be honest. I was throwing all my favourite bits in the blender without even thinking how the flavours will subsist. I was astonished at the harmony of it. It was succulent. I use the same sauce with a bit of variation for my pizza base too. It is very quick and very simple. Okay! Let’s talk about the mushrooms a little bit in this recipe. I cook this two ways, either adding the mushrooms to the meat while it’s cooking or I fry the mushrooms separately and spread them as a layer on the top of the lasagna wraps. Either way, it is totally upto you how you like them or if you don’t like mushrooms at all then just completely omit them from the recipe. Trust me, it will still taste “Oh my God”. 

I never realised how your imagination can tantalise your taste buds so. Happy to say, this dish is the talk of my dinner parties when presented. So, what are you waiting for? 

Here is how you will make it. 

Boil lazagnia sheets and set aside …

For filling –

1/2 kg mince (chicken, beef or lamb)

1/2 tsp salt 

1/2 tsp black pepper 

2 small green chillies (use 1 if you fancy)

1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste

1 tomatoe 

1/2 tsp thyme 

1/2 tsp oregano 

1/2 tsp all spice powder 

1 tsp lemon juice

A handful parsley 

A handful mushrooms 

Olive Oil 2-3 tbsp 

I used chicken mince. Add it to hot oil…add salt, black pepper, two green chillies, ginger garlic, tomatoe, parsley, thyme and oregano, lemon juice and all spice. Stir fry for about 6-8 minutes and add the sliced mushrooms. Now again fry it well so all water evaporates and everything is cooked. 

For sauce 

4-5 tomatoes (blanched and peeled or as I say use “mom is cooking saver” tinned tomatoes about 3/4 can) 

1 green bell pepper roasted on a pan (or you can just use it as is or buy the roast pepper jar) 

1 small green chilli

1 garlic clove 

A handful of basil leaves 

2-3 pitted green olives 

1/3 tsp salt 

1/2 tsp white pepper 

1 tbsp chilli garlic sauce 

1 tbsp tomatoes paste or Ketchup 

1 tsp lemon juice 

1 tbsp butter 

1/2 tsp olive oil 

2 small red onions sliced into thin circles 

1 pack cottage cheese 

Blanch 4-5 tomatoes. Peel the skin and put it in the blender. Add the green bell pepper, green chilli small, basil leaves, garlic and a handful of pitted green olives and blend it all together, 
Add the sauce to melted butter and oil. Add salt, white pepper, chilli garlic sauce, ketchup and lemon juice. Cook till butter sews up to the top and the sauce is a lil thick. 

In a baking dish squeeze out mayonesse at the bottom and pour half of the sauce on top. Add the filling to the lazagna sheets and roll. Assemble them seam side down over the sauce. Pour the rest of the sauce over the lasagna cannelloni. Add the red onion over the top and finish off with cottage cheese on top. Use fresh basil for garnish on top. 
Put in the oven for 10-12 min at 180*. 
Bon appetite! 

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