Cookbook

Pasta - Pesto Lasagna *PIC*

Pesto Lasagna

This is a great lasagna for summer. It contains no meat and there is no tomato sauce. It makes use of that great summer basil and it can either be a side dish to grilled meats or a main dish.
Bakes in an 8x8-inch pan.
Ingredients:

For the pasta:
* 10 - 20 no-cook lasagna noodles or fresh pasta sheets, cooked or regular lasagna noodles, cooked

For the pesto:
3 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano, cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil

For the bechamel:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk (whole or lowfat)
1 chicken bouillon cube (half, if using Knorr)
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

For the topping:
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Instructions:

Make the pesto:
Place the chunks of Parmigiano cheese into the food processor and process until finely ground.
Add the basil, garlic and pine nuts to food processor.
Process, using pulses, till finely chopped.
With machine running, add the olive oil until pesto is smooth.

Make the bechamel:
In a heavy medium saucepan, melt the butter.
Whisk in the flour and stir for a couple of minutes, until the flour is cooked.
Add the bouillon cube and allow to dissolve.
Whisk.
Add about a third of the milk, slowly, and whisk over medium heat.
Add the nutmeg and pepper.
When the sauce is smooth, add another third of the milk and whisk.
When the sauce is smooth again, add the rest of the milk and whisk until smooth.
Transfer to a heat proof bowl or Pyrex cup and let cool slightly.

Assemble lasagna:
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In an 8x8 pan, place about 1/3 cup of the bechamel to coat the bottom of the pan.
Lay first layer of lasagna noodles.
Add enough bechamel to coat the noodles.
Add some pesto and spread into the bechamel.
Add a handful of the grated Parmesan.
Continue to layer the noodles, bechamel, pesto and Parmesan until the last layer of noodles.
On top of this, just spread the bechamel only, add the rest of the Parmesan and top with the mozzarella.
Sprinkle the oregano on top.
Wrap tightly with foil (preferably Reynolds No-Stick foil).
Bake for one hour (if using regular, cooked noodles) or one hour and 15 minutes (if using no-boil noodles).
Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes more, until top is golden.
Remove from oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes before slicing.


Posted by oz.
Recipe and :photo by TheItalianDishBlog.com : *Note: Best to use cooked noodles rather than the dry noodles because of the amount of liquid needed from the Bechamel to hydrate the pasta.

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