How does one go about marrying lasagna with carbonara? I’ve used pretty much the same run-of-the-mill ingredients as you would find in any carbonara : bacon, pasta, parmigiano, egg yolk; but I had to get a little creative to make it work, introducing a juicy bacon terrine to house the ‘carbonara’ between the layers of lasagna pasta and mushrooms. The end result is another kobi-original.
- Bacon (12 slices)
- Marscapone (250g)
- Parmigiano Reggiano (100g)
- Emmental (100g)
- Eggs (2)
- Brown Mushrooms (200g)
- Onion (1)
- Lasagna (8 slices)
- Bread (4 Slices)
- Milk (1 cup)
- White Wine (1/2 cup)
- Dice the onion and cut the mushrooms into 1/4 inch slices.
- Cut the bread into cubes after trimming away the crust. Soak the bread in a mixture of 1 cup of milk and two egg yolks. Use a large bowl as you will be adding more things to it later.
- Finely grate the parmigiano reggiano. Slice the emmental into thin pieces.
- Stack your bacon on the cutting board such that the fat layers coincide and trim off some of the fat as shown in the photo. There is no where for the fat to go once it melts so this is an essential step. Discard the trimmings and then cut the meat into small pieces.
- Pan fry the onion in a bit of oil over low heat till they soften and start to brown. Pour in 1/2 cup of white wine and reduce it to 1/4 of its original volume. After you turn off the heat, add the marscapone and stir well.
- Add the contents of the pan to the big bowl. In addition, add 1T oregano,1t sugar, 1/2t turmeric and a generous sprinkle of black pepper. Finally add the bacon bits and 3/4 of the grated parmigiano reggiano.
- Mix the contents of the bowl well with a large spoon. Use a food processor to blend everything until you get a lumpy bacon paste. There is no need for it to be totally smooth. This is your sauce.
- Preheat your oven to 160oC (320oF).
- Apply a thin layer of the sauce to the bottom of a pyrex dish (that can hold eight cups of water). The add layers on top of it in the following sequence: pasta, mushroom, sauce, pasta, emmental, sauce, mushroom, pasta, sauce. You don’t have that much sauce, ration it appropriately so you don’t run out before the end. Top off with the remaining grated parmigiano reggiano.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until you see the parmigiano form a golden brown crust. The lasagna is best served with a sunny-side-up egg on top (not in the picture because I didn’t want to obscure the beautiful lasagna crust).
- The inspiration for thsi recipe comes from a ‘white’ lasagna I ate when my dad took me on a vacation to Europe. I was only 11 years old, but the taste of that dish from Venice lingers in my mind til today. I didn’t come across a similar dish for over three decades so I finally decided the only way I was going to taste something similar was to cook it myself.
- If you want to go the extra mile, use pancetta instead of regular bacon. You can also consider dressing the plate with some actual carbonara sauce (which is what I should have done for the photo but was too lazy).
- I prefer to work with ‘instant’ lasagna as it is less messy. When using this type of pre-cooked lasagna, one must remember to soak each piece of the pasta in hot water for about 10 seconds to get rid of their coating of fine flour. If you choose to use uncooked pasta, boil them till it they are semi-soft -between steps 8 and 9.