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Lasagna for Passover

April 08, 1998

Consider Mina de Pesah a cross between a chicken pot pie and a tomato-free lasagna. Matzo bread is used instead of pastry or noodles, and of course no cream is used for the filling. The most challenging part of creating the recipe was getting a sauce to bind the chicken that was thick enough and had enough flavor.

We started with the Mina de Pesah recipe in "The Passover Table" by Susan R. Friedland (HarperCollins, 1994) but found the result dry and bland. After several experiments, Mayi Brady of the Times Test Kitchen devised a version we like better with a kosher-for-Passover (matzo-based, dairy-free) bechamel sauce.

MATZO CHICKEN PIE (Mina de Pesah)

SAUCE

1/4 cup oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 tablespoons matzo cake meal

2 1/2 cups chicken stock

*

FILLING

3 tablespoons oil

2 cups chopped onions

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms

3 cups bite-sized pieces cooked chicken

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup chopped parsley

6 matzos

1 cup chicken stock

SAUCE

Heat oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook until softened and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in matzo cake meal and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

FILLING

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over low heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until softened and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken, salt and pepper to taste, parsley and Sauce.

Dip 2 matzos in stock until well moistened but not falling apart. Place them in 1 layer in lightly oiled 1 1/2- to 2-quart baking dish, breaking pieces if needed to fit.

Spoon 1/2 chicken mixture over matzos. Moisten 2 more matzos and place in 1 layer on top of chicken mixture. Spoon remaining chicken mixture over matzos and top with remaining 2 moistened matzos. Pour 2 teaspoons oil over top.

Bake at 375 degrees 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon oil and bake until top is rich, crisp brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

6 to 8 servings. Each of 8 servings: 354 calories; 473 mg sodium; 47 mg cholesterol; 17 grams fat; 32 grams carbohydrates; 21 grams protein; 72.50 grams fiber.

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