Aidan wanted this for dinner when I made a spring lasagne. He does not like many food items and is in fact a “selective eater”. Cheese is one of the things he does not like, so he did not want to eat my lasagne. Aidan loves fennel and bacon, so this is what he came up with for his dinner. He decided that only the top layer was worth eating, but I thought it was pretty tasty – if you like a souffle consistency… which he does not. It was pretty easy to make and the flavors are more breakfast oriented. Aidan did all of the chopping himself for this with our big Japanese vegetable knife (Nakiri). He is able to hold that knife well because it has a lot of space to hold without cutting yourself. The following measurements are approximate because we were working quickly, so I was not able to accurately measure what he was putting in.
2 Slices of thick cut bacon roughly chopped
1 Fennel bulb cored and roughly chopped
1 Tbs. Ripped fennel fronds
1 tsp. Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. powdered ginger
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
A splash of white wine
1 1/2 to 2 c. milk
salt to taste
white pepper to taste
6 ready to bake lasagne noodles
4-6 more eggs
Fry the fennel, bacon, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon in the olive oil until the fennel is soft and the bacon has the level of crisp that you like. Pour a small amount (probably 1-2 Tbs.) of white wine into the pan to de-glaze it. Add the ripped fennel fronds and mix well add salt and white pepper to taste (Aidan likes a lot of white pepper).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a 6 x 10 inch ovenproof dish spread 1/3 of the bacon and fennel medley. Put 3 lasagne noodles on top of the fennel and bacon (break them to fit). Put the rest of the bacon and fennel mix on top of the noodles and spread evenly. Put the last 3 lasagne noodles on top of the bacon and fennel.
In a separate dish whisk 2 eggs and the milk. Add salt and more white pepper. Whisk until frothy. Pour over the lasagne noodles. It should just cover the top noodles. Put this in the oven for 20 minutes.
Take the casserole out and carefully break your eggs on top of the top layer. Put it back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes. Take the casserole out when the eggs are cooked to your liking (we like runny yolks). Serve immediately and garnish with more ripped fennel fronds.