I guess all my followers will have decided upon their Christmas day menu weeks, if not months ago. I believe a Christmas dinner should be celebratory, but not enslaving to make. So this year the DAVEggie household will be tucking into Borscht Consommé, followed Lasagne coi Gemberi e Canestrelli (Lasagne with Prawns and Scallops – look – it’s my blog and I can be pretentious if I want.)
Anyway, I think this is a wonderful combination, ruby red Borscht (very different from my earlier recipe), followed by creamy indulgent seafood lasagne. I am not a great pudding person myself (you’ve noticed the lack of pudding recipes), so I am leaving the pudding in the capable hands of Mrs DAVEggie, who is promising an indecently wobbly Lemon Panacotta. As soon as she lets me have her recipe I will share it with you. Also, no photo’s as I haven’t made the recipes yet. With a bit of luck these will follow on Boxing day, and I hope they might inspire you to try the menu for a special occasion.
It is not particularly time consuming (especially if you were to use dried lasagne.) However, fresh pasta is fun to make, indeed children love to help. The soup can be made in advance and reheated. Actually so could the lasagne – it will not look as pretty, but there is an argument that the flavour improves.
500g raw beetroot (peeled weight)
1l clear vegetable stock, infused with porcini mushrooms (Take care to only simmer the stock, and do not press the liquid out of the vegetables)
1 tsp red wine vinegar
sour cream or crême fraîche
- Peel the beetroot and cut into small pieces. (You might want to wear kitchen gloves for this.)
- Simmer beetroot, carrot, and and swede in the stock until soft and the soup is red (About 1 hour).
- Strain through a sieve. Do not press the vegetables as this will make the soup cloudy.
- Return the soup to the saucepan and reheat. Add the vinegar.
Serve with a bowl of sour cream or crême fraîche on the side.
- Make the Béchamel Sauce.
- Chop the onion, garlic and parsley finely.
- Add the olive oil to a frying pan, and sauté the onion until ligh golden (about 5 minutes.)
- Add the garlic and parsley and cook for a further minute.
- Turn the heat up high and add the scallops. Fry for about 1 minute until no longer translucent and any water released has evaporated.
- Add the prawns, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the prawns turn pink (about 2 minutes.)
- Add the Béchamel Sauce.
- Roll out the pasta, and cut into strips the width of the lasagne dish and 10cm wide.
- Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Drop 6 sheets of pasta in at a time and boil for 1 minute. Remove, rinse in a sink of cold water and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat until all the remaining pasta is blanched.
- Grease a baking dish with about 10g of butter.
- Line the dish with pasta and cover with about 1/5 of the sauce mixture.
- Repeat 4 times, finishing with a layer or sauce.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and bake in the oven at 200◦C for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
A simple salad of iceberg lettuce in a sharp dressing goes well.