Bipolar Springtime, leftover food, the art of not wasting and a chicken lasagna to top it all off

I find that Spring is quite the season to become creative with one's food. Because, you see, we come straight out of Winter, with the cold still snapping away at our feet, our bodies still indulgent of comfier food, something that'll keep you all warm and fuzzy inside, but at the same time, those same bodies seem to be crying out for lighter and fresher ingredients and dishes, that make your mouth sing with the warmer breeze and warmer sunshine outside as inspiration.

Spring is a bit of a bipolar little biatch, she is, at least where I live and in the past few years. One week is all about the clear blue skies and sunny days that sem to stretch into warm evenings, begging for you to get your rear outside and walk, walk, as if your life depeneded on it. Your taste buds will ask for salads and freshly squeezed juices on those days, a cooling dessert, a lighter lunch, a tall glass of colf milk and a yogurt or two, maybe even ice cream!

Then the next week seems like Winter is back on, with bitter winds bitting at your face, showers that seem to come out of nowhere when just five seconds ago there wasn't a single cloud in the sky, mornings that wake up chilly and suddenly turn into midday hell where the heat is akin to a Summer day, evenings that have you running for your home with temps suddenly spiralling down. You're left without choice, never knowing what to wear once you wake up in the morning, and surely not knowing what to eat that will hit all the right spots and make you feel happy and warm inside at the same time it drops that much longed for freshness in your plate as well.

So we kind of you know, came up with the perfect thing for thos pesky days in Spring when it's late Autumn in the morning, Summer by lucng time, Spring gracing your doorstep i the early afternoon, and Winter that comes knocking in the evening. A chicken lasagna, packed with flavour and the helping hand ov trusted vegetables! This is one of those recipes that tastes of Spring, and it actually is better if you use leftovers for it. A leftover roast chicken, some frankfurters that didn't quite make it into your hotdogs, that half buncg of spinach that seems to be wilting away in the fridge, those overipe tomatoes no one is going to have on their salads. If, like me, you hate waiste, this is the dish for you!

To make your own pasta you will need 1 egg for every 100 gr of flour. We used 300 gr in this recipe, so we needed three eggs. Mix the flour and the egs in the food processor until you have a silky dough. Roll it to a ball and wrap in cling film, allowing it to cool in the fridge for half an hour. In the meantime, you can start preparing the filling. Now, for this one we used the leftovers from a roast chicken, the meat that is closer to the bones. You have to debone it rather thoroughly and it can be a messy business, but it's worth it, as this meat is jam packed full of flavour. We also used two chicken frankfurters from lunch and a handful of spinach leaves. Chop up an onion and a garlic clove and stir fry in a heaped spoonful of olive oil. Add the chicken and the sausage and toss around allowing it to coat in the oil. Open up a tin of canned tomatoes - we used a big one and added a bit of passatta as well, just for enhanced flavour - and stir. Freshen up with a swig of white wine, and season with salt, pepper and a bit of oregano. Add the spinach and allow to cook on a low heat. At this point, get your pasta dough out of the fridge and start rolling out the lasagna blades. We used a pasta maker machine, starting at nº1 and moving up to nº 3 which rolls out a thin layer of pasta that you can then cut into squares and rectangles the size that will suit you better. Or you can roll it on a floured surface until you get it to less than a mm thick. Cut it up into squares or rectangles as mentioned. Now, to prepare the béchamel sauce you need:

  • 50 gr unsalted butter
  • 50 gr flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • pinch of salt, pepper and ground nutmegg

Start by making a roux with the flour and butter, by having the latter melt in a pan over a low heat. Add the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon, and let it cook, being careful as to not allow it to brown, for about five minutes. Warm up your milk slightly in the microwave or over the stove on another pan in low heat, spoon a couple o fspoonfulls into to the flour and butter mix, and whisk so it starts to break up and cream the mixture. Gradually add the rest of the milk, whisking quite vigourously and constantly. Now you have a creamy sauce and you can season it with salt, pepper and nutmegg to taste. You can start assembling the lasagna, now, and how we do it is by spreading a thin layer of the béchamel sauce onto an oven dish, dust a little flour onto it, and cover the bottom with a layer of pasta. Then we dish out the meat sauce and cover with another layer of pasta and béchamel, and so on, until you reach the last layer that must be of béchamel sauce. You can spread some grated cheese over this last layer of sauce, I don't normally do it, I just take it straight to the oven and let it bake for about 30 to 45m at 200º, untill the pasta is cooked and the surface is golden and bubbling. Allow to cool and serve up, with a side dish of simple salad; it is perfect for those days when the weather just cannot make up its mind!!


  1. Mas que bom aspecto! Faz mesmo lembrar a primavera!

    Nem me fales, aqui no Porto a Primavera também não se decide!

    Tenho andado cheia de vontade de cozinhar e experimentar coisas novas, cada vez me apaixono mais pela culinária! <3

    beijinhos, Nádia
    My Fashion Insider

    1. Tens de fazer uma lasagna, e um risotto também, pá!!

  2. e por falar em bom aspeto...tenho mesmo de experimentar!

    1. Juro-te que para aproveitar sobras é do melhor!

  3. sou uma naba com lasanhas, mas tão naba! fica sempre seca :c fiz de frango e salmão, usei bechamel caseiro, mas nunca percebi porque ficava seco e desisti, reforçando assim a minha nabice. Por norma uso os meus restos em folhados e empadões, mas devia incluir as lasanhas.

    1. a lasagna não é suposto ficar demasiado húmida!!! Mas se calhar fazes béchamel a menos, já pensaste?

    2. ou isso ou fica muito espesso :\


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