Thursday, September 25, 2014

Paneer Pasticho Venezolano (Venezuelan Lasagna)

When we think of lasagna we think Italian. But this version is from Venezuela. It is not a vegetarian recipe but I made it vegetarian with the use of crumbled paneer. I adapted this recipe. This Venezuelan lasagna has béchamel sauce in it which I found very interesting.


I used home grown cherry tomatoes for the filling and I think they made the dish more flavorful. It takes some time to prepare everything and put it together. To hurry things up I asked my daughter to put the last layer of cheese over the lasagna and as you can see she went crazy with it cutting up thick slices.


By the time the lasagna came out of the oven it was past lunch time. These pictures were clicked while everyone waited patiently at the table. Everything and everybody was at the table except the food. I barely had time to click pictures before it was all gone.

You will need
For the filling
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
12 cherry tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes, pureed
a handful cilantro
1 tsp. oregano
salt and pepper
7 oz. paneer

Refer here for the béchamel sauce

To assemble the lasagna
8-10 lasagna sheets or enough to form 4 layers in the pan you wish to use
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, sliced

Heat the butter and oil in a large pan. Add the onion and saute until tender. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute. Add the pureed tomatoes, cilantro, oregano, salt and pepper.


Let the mixture cook for about 5 minutes then crumble paneer over it. Mix well and let it cook until it dries out a little. Keep aside.


Meanwhile prepare the béchamel sauce by following this recipe. Bring water to a boil and add the lasagna noodles. When the noodles are cooked you are ready to assemble the lasagna.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Prepare your casserole dish by rubbing a little butter on the bottom. Add a layer of the noodles ensuring they cover the entire bottom of the dish. Spread a fourth of the béchamel sauce over the noodles.


Next spread a third of the paneer filling.


Finally add the slices mozzarella. Repeat 2 more times until the filling runs out. On the last layer of noodles place the béchamel sauce and mozzarella. Thinner slices of mozzarella will work just fine.


Bake open for 20-30 minutes. If you use fresh mozzarella the cheese will not brown. You can broil the dish for a couple minutes if you like a brown top.


This lasagna tastes best when hot. You can reheat leftovers.

6 comments:

  1. Paneer is a nice substitute for minced meat. Filling looks colorful and flavorful with the addition of cherry tomatoes. Yummy

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  2. The thick cheese slices brought a smile..LoL.inspite of every one waiting for the food to arrive..the clicks are good:)..and what a interesting dish.loved it.

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  3. Varada, this is one real fattening dish!. and I love it..:)..anything with cheese I am for it and you added paneer on top..wow...and I am bookmarking it..can understand your daughter getting crazy handling the cheese..I would too..

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  4. My mouth is just watering scrolling down the pictures. Sooooooooo good. I will have to try this version some time.

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