Lasagne al Pesto

Early in our married life, Lisa made a lasagna and hasn't been allowed to make one since (I'm going to take a lot of flak for that comment). This is not to say that Lisa isn't a good cook, she makes many a mouth watering dish, it's just that I'm somewhat of a past-snob. A bottled Ragu sauce with grated mozzarella, cottage cheese and the wavy lasagna noodles does not a lasagna make. I was just spoiled by my time in Italy. All of that being said, this recipe is nothing like a typical lasagna either. There is no tomato sauce. No cottage cheese (please don't ever put cottage cheese in your lasagna, that borders on the sacrilegious). No wavy noodles. I hope that you enjoy it.

2 boxes or 2 lbs. of lasagna noodles (I prefer the flat Barilla lasagne)
at least 8 0z. fresh mozzarella - you can always put in more if you like more.
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
at least 1/4 lb. ham (I find it easiest to get the ham at the deli, and I like smoked ham, again more is always optional)
Pesto - double or triple this recipe (I triple the recipe, but you could probably get away with just doubling it)
Four Cheese Sauce - double or triple this recipe (I'm sure that if you don't use all of the sauce, you'll be able to find some use for it later on)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the sliced ham into little pieces (you can do it however you want, I go for about 1in by 1in) and set aside. Shred the mozzarella and set aside. In a 9in by 13in baking dish, spread a layer of the cheese sauce on the bottom of the pan and stir in a few small spoonfuls of pesto. Put down a layer of lasagna noodles (you do not need to boil them before hand) covering the entire dish bottom. You'll probably have to break the noodles to get complete coverage of the dish, that's OK. Next put a layer of cheese sauce over the noodles, and again stir in a couple of spoonfuls of pesto so that the pesto gets a good distribution. Put down a layer of mozzarella cheese and ham, and then cover with another layer of lasagna noodles. Then it is just a simple matter of repeating the process until you either run out of room, pasta, sauce or pesto. The final layer should be done just like all of the others. Put down a layer of lasagna noodles and then cover the lasagne with cheese sauce, stir in the pesto, and finish it all off by sprinkling the top with the 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano. The most difficult thing for me is to judge how much sauce, pesto, mozzarella, ham to use in each layer, yet still have enough left at the top to adequately cover the last layer. I've yet to come up with an answer. I use guess work. Good luck. Cover the lasagna with tinfoil and cook for 25 minutes. After 25 minuets, uncover the lasagna and cook it an additional 5-10 minutes uncovered (I like the top just slightly crunchy, so don't leave it in too long after you take off the foil if your desired end is not crunchy). Remove the lasagna from the oven and let it sit about 5-10 minutes before you cut into it. If you cut into it too soon, it tends to be a little runny. The taste is fine, it just looks messy.

To add a little more flavor or variety to the lasagna, you can add sliced mushrooms, zucchini or other veggies to the layers of mozzarella and ham. Use your imagination. Go wild. Buon Appetito.

Lasagne Al Pesto on FoodistaLasagne Al Pesto


lisa said...

yum....i loved this dinnre! It was my favorite dish!
lets make it again....

Becky said...