This recipe is totally home made and all ingredients are fresh. There are no artificial flavours, or preservatives, it can also be made to be "Dairy Free" I also prefer to make it into individual portions instead of a one piece tray which then has to be cut losing all its appeal and presentation.
2 rashers bacon / cut into small strips and lightly pan fried
Handful of torn fresh spinach leaves
Roasted and marinated eggplant
Salt and pepper -optional 1 teaspoon of mild chicken tikka masala master mix spices
For the bechamel sauce
60 grams of butter
1/3 cup plain flour
2 cups milk
70 grams of grated cheese
Pinch of salt
A little nutmeg
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Directions Preparation:45min › Cook:45min › Extra time:2hours › Ready in:3hours30min
For the pasta dough - whisk the 3 eggs and 2 yolks, make a well in the middle of the flour, add the eggs, virgin oil and salt. Mix until all ingredients are combined and knead for a further 5 minutes or until dough is elastic. Cover with plastic film and set in the fridge to rest for two hours. Cut into 4 sections and roll each piece on a pasta rolling machine. Cut into the desired shapes or lengths and place on a wet towel. This will prevent it from sticking and drying out. Cook for approximately 3 minutes in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Remove and place immediately into a pot of cold water to stop the cooking process.
For the filling- steam or poach the chicken breast and shred with a fork when cooked. Caramelise the onion and garlic, cut the tomatos into small sections and place all ingredients in a saucepan, add the chicken stock, olives, tomato paste, bacon, mushrooms, salt and pepper and last the spinach. Cook for 2-3 minutes until spinach has wilted.
For the bechamel sauce- melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour. Cook and keep stirring for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly, until mixture is smooth. Return to heat. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 10 to 12 minutes or until sauce comes to the boil, thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in the grated cheese, salt and nutmeg.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a lightly oiled ceramic dish place the prepared pasta and spoon over some of the the filling, at this stage place some roasted capsicum and eggplant, repeat with more layers of pasta sheets and filling. Garnish the top and presentation side with the roasted capsicum and eggplant. Spoon over the béchamel sauce. Cover with alfoil and bake in a 200 degree oven for 25 minutes, remove the foil and bake uncovered for a further 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and lightly browned. Let stand for 5-10 minutes. Serve with a fresh green salad.
This recipe can be made "DAIRY FREE' by substituting the milk in the bechamel sauce with soy milk, and the cheese is also available in a Soy and Herb cheese from your supermarket. Mild Chicken Tikka Masala Master Mix Spices are from Masterfoods and also available from your supermarket.