Barilla® Lasagne with Vegetables, Béchamel & Pesto

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Ingredients for 12 people
  • 1 box Barilla® Wavy Lasagne
  • 1 1/2 pound asparagus, sliced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium Japanese eggplant, sliced thin
  • 1 cup Pecorino Sardo cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • Generous pinch of kosher salt
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
  • 3 tablespoons Pecorino cheese, freshly grated

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  • Make the Béchamel sauce (makes 2 cups):

    • Heat butter in a medium sauce pan, until melted.
    • Add flour and stir until smooth.
    • Cook over medium heat until light golden brown, about 6 to 7 minutes.
    • Meanwhile, heat the milk in separate pan until just about to boil.
    • Add warmed milk to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth.
    • Bring mixture to a boil and continue cooking for 30 seconds.
    • Remove pan from the heat.
    • Season with salt and nutmeg.

  • Make the Pesto sauce: (makes about 1 cup)

    • Place garlic into a food processor with the motor running and process until chopped.
    • Add the basil, pine nuts, and salt.
    • Pulse until the basil and pine nuts are coarsely chopped; continue processing until finely chopped.
    • Drizzle in the olive oil with the motor running.
    • Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the grated cheeses.

    NOTE: The pesto can be stored in a tightly sealed jar, topped with a thin layer of extra-virgin olive oil, for several weeks in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  • Bring about 6 quarts of water to a boil and add about 2 tablespoons salt (optional).
  • Prepare a bowl of ice water.
  • Trim the asparagus and boil for 1 minute. Use tongs to remove the asparagus from the hot water. Reserve asparagus cooking water.
  • Refresh asparagus in the ice bath for 30 seconds. Use tongs to transfer the asparagus to a colander, drain well, and cut each spear in half crosswise and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 12 to 14 inch sauté pan. Add the eggplant and cook until golden brown and soft, about 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
  • Cook the lasagne sheets in the same boiling water as the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain and separate.
  • Coat a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Layer 4 sheets of lasagne on the bottom of the dish; top with 6 pieces of asparagus, 3 to 4 slices of eggplant and 3 tablespoons of Béchamel sauce.
  • Top with 4 sheets of lasagne, asparagus and eggplant as above, and 3 tablespoons of pesto sauce.
  • Repeat these 2 layers for a total of 4 layers. End with 4 sheets of lasagne, remaining Béchamel sauce and grated cheese. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  • Place the baking pan on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until bubbling and golden brown on top. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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