Wednesday, September 2, 2009

White Lasagna With Pine Nuts

One of the cookbooks that I inherited from my mother was Ciao Italia, by Mary Ann Esposito. Here's one of the recipes that we cooked from it. It's a "light" variation on lasagna, though closer inspection looks heavy to me! I'm sure that mom has some variation. The filling is perfect for stuffed shells too!


--1/2 cup Pine Nuts, toasted
--3 10-ounce packages of fresh or frozen Spinach, thawed, drained and chopped fine if frozen. If fresh, wilted over medium-high heat for 4 minutes, drained and chopped fine.
--3 cups Ricotta Cheese
--3 Eggs
--3 tbsp minced Fresh Parsley
--1 and 1/2 cups diced Mozzarella Cheese
--2 tbsp room-temperature Butter
--1/4 lb Prosciutto, diced
--1 tsp grated Nutmeg
--1 tsp Salt
--1 tsp White Pepper

White Sauce:

--4 cups Milk
--1 stick Butter
--1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour, sifted
--1 tsp Salt
--1/2 tsp grated Nutmeg
--1 and 1/2 tbsp finely minced Fresh Sage

--Lasagna Noodles
--1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese

In a large bowl, combine the spinach and the pine nuts. Beat in the eggs. Add the remaining filling ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large saucepan, scald the milk (bring to just under a boil). Remove from heat and set aside. In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in the milk, salt and nutmeg and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Cook, stirring, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the sage. Cover and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Boil the lasagna noodles in water until al dente. Drain. In a 9x13-inch pan, spread 1/2 a cup of the white sauce. Cover with a layer of lasagna strips and spread about 1 and 1/2 cups of the filling on top of that. Spoon on a thin layer of sauce. Repeat 2 more times, the top layer lasagna noodles. Spread 1 cup of the white sauce on top of that, then sprinkle with the grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. Cover with Aluminum Foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

No comments: