Vegetarian Lasagna, The Original Italian Recipe

Nya Crea

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After the success of my previous lasagna recipe, today I want to propose to you a vegetarian and quicker version.

Every time I need my lasagna fix, this recipe is my go-to!

It will take you a maximum an hour to prepare so even if you don’t have a lot of time, you can still make this delicious recipe.

When I made it for the first time I had a flashback to when I was a kid and my aunt was always preparing this recipe for all of the parties and holidays. There are things that only kids can remember! I actually asked my mum about it and she had no idea what I was talking about, but I still remember that lasagna because it was truly amazing.

So amazing that I tried to make it myself as a memory of the old times.

As my previous lasagna recipe, buy good branded ingredients and you’re already halfway through your way to succeed in your recipe. I have noticed that the most common mistake people make is buying cheap or supermarket brands and then wonder why their recipe didn’t turn out like the restaurant one even if they followed it step by step. The key is Ingredients!

I love to use Barilla Lasagna Sheets and Galbani Ricotta. I usually make my own besciamelle but if I can find an Italian branded besciamelle I can save time and use it instead. If you can find fresh ricotta, you won!

Regarding the pesto, freshly made one is always better. You can find Basil in your regular supermarkets or your trusted vegetable store.

The Basil we use in Italy is called “basilico genovese” which is different from regular basil. If you have a trusted Italian store close to you, you can definitely buy that kind of basil, which will taste quite different from the regular one, otherwise don’t worry, any kind of basil will be just fine.

Ingredients

A pack of Lasagna sheets

500 g of Ricotta Cheese

Parmigiano Reggiano

500g of baby Spinach

Pesto Sauce

Garlic

For The Pesto Sauce:

pine nuts

100g Fresh Basil

Salt

Pepper

70g of Extra Virgin olive oil

50g of Parmigiano Reggiano

For the Besciamelle

1 litre of Hot milk

100 g of All-purpose Flour

100 g of Butter

A pinch of Nutmeg

Method:

Start cooking your spinach. In a pot add the oil, let it heat and add the garlic. Wash the spinach and add them to the pot. Add a lid to facilitate the cooking process.

In the meantime prepare the pesto.

Wash your basil leaves and dry them. I like to do this a day before and let them dry in the fridge for one night.

Place them in your food processor. Grate about half a cup of Parmigiano cheese and add it to the spinach, toss some pine nuts and add the oil, salt and pepper, blend all together.

I hope no Italian person is going to read how I just taught you how to make pesto because they will probably shout a big NO at me. This is not actually how you make pesto in Italy, so I just want to say that I am aware of that and please forgive me! I am just trying to make your life easier by giving you the quickest shortcut to a good pesto.

However, if you feel like you want to challenge yourself, so you want to make pesto the Italian way, you will then need a marble pester and mortar to smash your basil, pine nuts, salt, pepper and Parmigiano cheese. Add some oil and there you go!

When your pesto is ready, prepare the besciamelle.

First of all create the roux, heat the butter in the pan and add the flour. Once your mix is the consistency of a paste, brown it and gradually add some hot milk. It’s important that you do this passage gradually, in order to prevent the formation of clumps.

Once the spinach is ready drain the water formed in the pan, if there is any, and add the ricotta cheese.

Before adding the cheese, Remember to also drain the ricotta from any water formed.

Now that everything is ready is time to assemble the lasagna.

Spread some besciamelle on the bottom of your lasagna tray and add your first layer, once you’ve done so spread a good amount of besciamelle on your sheets and add some pesto, help yourself with a kitchen brush. Add the ricotta and spinach and finish with Parmigiano cheese. Repeat the procedure for 2 or 3 more layers according to your taste.

For this recipe, I love to usually make 5 layers.

Heat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius or according to your lasagna sheet requirement (every type of pasta has different cooking temperature and timing so you should check your lasagna box), and place the lasagna in the oven for 20 mins or according to the pasta type.

Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Storage: you can store the lasagna in the fridge for a couple of days. However, I personally don’t like to store it for more than a day. In the alternative, you can also freeze it.

Lasagna is one of my favourite dishes and there are infinite ways to make it, it is so versatile!

You can add all of your favourite ingredients and experiment with flavours. Rule number one is to first master the simpler recipes and then gradually start to make your own adjustments.

This is actually how professional chefs learn how to cook!

Tips:

Make sure that you add enough besciamelle so to thoroughly cook the lasagna sheets. Failing to do so, would result in a dry, uncooked lasagna.

Unless you put a huge amount of it, which is not advisable, you won’t be able to taste the besciamelle, the flavour of it should be light and subtle. When you spread the besciamelle, you should be able to still see the pasta sheet underneath. If anyone is like my dad and tells you “I don’t like besciamelle” don’t worry you can hide the flavour, between your ingredients... and they won’t even notice. That’s what my mum does all the time.

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I love to set trends, my field of expertise is music and entertainment but I also love to talk about lifestyle and what's trending at the moment. Expect to find interesting tips, music advice and interviews but also food blogging (yes I'm a foodie), pretty much, anything that interests me or sparks my attention, I promise to bring it to you!

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