Monday, January 16, 2012

Pesto Lasagna

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and knew I had to make it immediately! It just looks so delicious! And I've always wanted to learn to make my own pesto! This was actually pretty simple, and the only thing I'd do differently is add some mushrooms to the dish. I feel as though it just needs a little something more. I'm also going to lower the olive oil in the pesto. After it came out of the oven, it was a little bit oily. I'm not sure how much I'm going to reduce it by, but I figure I can add more as time goes on. And now...the AMAZING recipe:

Pesto Lasagna-Adapted from The Italian Dish
Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Serves 4
  • 10-20 cooked lasagna noodles (10 for 8x8 pan, 20 for 13x8 pan)
  • 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 
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk (whole or lowfat)
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (half, if using Knorr)
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper 
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
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 350 degrees F.
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.
Bake for one hour. Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes more, until top is golden.  Remove from oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes before slicing.
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