by Alfredo Zotti
- 2 or 3 packets of instant lasagna sheets
- Soy milk
- Olive oil margarine
- Olive oil
- 1 eggplant
- 2 or 3 zucchini
- 8 medium ripe tomatoes
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
- Cashew powder
- Shredded coconut
- White onion
- Sea salt and pepper
Prepare the tomato sauce: boil some water and immerse, one at the time, the ripe tomatoes. Leave in water for 2 or 3 minutes and then peel the skin of the tomato off with a sharp knife. It should come off easy. Repeat the process with all tomatoes. Cut all tomatoes in half and gently scoop away, with a tea spoon, all of the seeds trying not to damage the flash too much. Once you have the skin and the seeds off the tomatoes you chop them in small pieces, about 1 centimeter squared. Heat up 4 table spoons of olive oil and gently fry the garlic and the onions which you need to chop just like the tomatoes. Once the onion and garlic are golden brown, add the tomatoes pieces, stirring well. Add ½ a normal glass of water and let cook on very gentle heat for about 20 minutes. Add some ground sea salt to taste.
The White Sauce
It is not possible to give precise measures for the ingredients. Use about 3 to 4 spoons of olive oil margarine, which is similar to butter but made entirely of olive oil, and gently melt in a pot. When melted (ensure that you do not burn anything) add about 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of flour and mix till you get a paste. If you need more liquid add a couple of drops of normal olive oil. You need to get a creamy mixture. Once you have mixed the olive oil margarine and the flour, start adding soy milk a little at the time and continue to stir and cook on the gentle fire. You want a creamy consistency, not too liquid and not to solid. For this, to come out just right, there is need for practice; so do not be discouraged if you fail the first few times. Once you get it, you will get it right every time.
Preparing the eggplant and zucchini
Cut the eggplant long-way with a sharp knife in fairly thin slices. Once you have thin slices, put them on a plate and cover each one with a bit of fine salt and cover. The salt will help all of the bitter water come out of the eggplant. After 20 minutes, gently squeeze each slice, by placing the slices one on top of the other and gently squeeze with your two hands over the sink. You will see some water come out. Try to get rid of the bitter water. Put on a side.
Gently slice the zucchini the same way, long way, and place on a dish (zucchinis do not have bitter water so you do not need to salt them or squeeze them)
Grilling or frying the vegetable slices
Now you need a nice pan on the stove, or griller, to heat up some nice olive oil. Start frying or grilling some of the eggplant and zucchinis (you cannot cook them all at once but will need to repeat the process a few times for there are too many vegetable slices) but only for 4 minutes on each side, you do not need to cook the vegetable completely.
Putting it all together
Put some tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking tray that is fairly deep and rectangular in shape. Put some white sauce on top of it, just a little enough to cover the surface and then cover with the lasagna sheets. The sheets are hard and can be broken to fit the baking dish. Break them with your hand; it’s not difficult. Then you had some more tomato sauce and white sauce on top of the lasagna sheets and then some eggplant and zucchini slices. Sprinkle some shredded coconut and add some cashew powder. Cover with the lasagna sheets and repeat the process a couple of time till you have layers of lasagna sheets, sauces and vegetables.
Once complete, add some tomato sauce and white sauce on the top. Leave on a side for ½ hour so that all of the liquids can soak and soften the lasagna sheets. Put in the oven and bake till the top is golden brown, for about 40 to 50 minutes depending on your oven. Once you get it out of the oven, let it cool for a few minutes; it is very hot.
It is delicious both hot and cold.
About the Author
As a sufferer with Bipolar 2 disorder, Alfredo Zotti decided, some 20 years ago, to attend university at the age of 30, knowing that knowledge is vital for people with mental illness. Ten years ago, he started to help sufferers online because he also realized that only by helping others can we truly understand the human condition. He also started to write a journal and found that writing this journal, in cooperation with other sufferers, made it possible for him to see mental illness from a totally different, positive perspective. Visit his blog http://www.alfredozotti.com/ to read his work.