Barilla® Lasagne with Vegetables, Béchamel & Pesto
- 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
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.
3Preheat the oven to 400° F.
4Bring about 6 quarts of water to a boil and add about 2 tablespoons salt (optional).
5Prepare a bowl of ice water.
6Trim the asparagus and boil for 1 minute. Use tongs to remove the asparagus from the hot water. Reserve asparagus cooking water.
7Refresh 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.
8Heat 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.
9Cook the lasagne sheets in the same boiling water as the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain and separate.
10Coat a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
11Layer 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.
12Top with 4 sheets of lasagne, asparagus and eggplant as above, and 3 tablespoons of pesto sauce.
13Repeat 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.
14Place 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.