We first had Pesto Lasagna in Cinque Terre, where Pesto is a specialty. It was one of the best meals we have had during our travels and we have talked about re-creating it ever since. Well, on this Saturday in Brussels, we decided to do just that and I am so glad we did! Though it takes some time and TLC, this dish is superb, so superbo you will think your Italian Grandmother (Nonna) made it! Seriously!
pesto. This pesto can be used for anything, pizza, pasta, on toasted bread as an appetizer, on a burger, you name it. You will need lots of fresh basil, so get planting soon so you can have fresh basil out of your garden all summer long. We are starting our mini garden next weekend! Once you make this Perfect Pesto, you will never want to eat pesto out of a jar again.
Add another drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice and continue to mash until it is in your desired consistency. Salt and pepper if desired (Both cheeses are quite salty, so I opted for no salt). Voila. You have Perfect Pesto that can be used for anything!
Now we will continue to the Besciamella sauce (sounds fancy, right?).
As Adapted from CookingChannelTV.com by Gabriele Corcos & Debi Mazar
2 recipes Pesto Sauce (as follows)
1 recipe Besciemella Sauce (as follows)
1 package spinach lasagna no boil noodles
1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
extra parmesan for serving
Grease a baking dish with butter. Pour a thin layer of Besciamella sauce on the bottom. Layer on the Lasagna noodles. Cover with Besciamella sauce and about 3 tbls of the pesto. Mix together. Sprinkle on a little pit of parmesan cheese and some sundried tomatoes. Repeat until sauce is used up. Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes covered with aluminum foil. Remove foil, then broil for 10 minutes until hot and bubbly.
Perfect Pesto (double recipe if making the lasagna)
4 cups loosely packed fresh basil
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
Juice of 1/4 of lemon
1/4 cup freshly grated percorino romano
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
Start toasting your pine nuts on the stove over medium heat, shaking pan frequently or in the oven on 350 F for 10 minutes. Chop garlic and basil together (if you have a garlic chopper, use that) into fine pieces. Put basil and garlic mixture into a mortar bowl. Add pine nuts and 1/2 of the olive oil. Mash into a cream like paste. Add the cheeses and the remaining oil. Continue to mash a little more. Once to your desired consistency, squeeze the lemon juice on top, and stir. Salt and pepper if desired.
1 cup butter
1 cup flour
9 cups milk (warmed)
sea salt & ground pepper
a dash of nutmeg
Start melting the butter over medium heat. Slowly add in the flour, whisking constantly. Once mixed, slowly add the warmed milk, whisking constantly. Bring mixture to a boil, while continuously whisking. Once brought to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15-25 minutes. Add salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg. Taste your sauce. If you taste a hint of flour cook for a few more minutes.
Serve with some crusty bread and a salad. Let me tell you... it was sooooo good. You must try this recipe! It is the best one yet!