Italian Basil Pesto Lasagne al Forno (pesto lasagna)
This Italian basil pesto lasagna can be made really quickly with store bought basil pesto, béchamel sauce and lasagne sheets. Or, you can make everything yourself. Either way this is hands down the best meatless lasagna recipe I know. Perfect for summer meals and as a starter. If you love pesto, you'll swoon over this traditional Italian dish! #pesto #lasagna #authenticitalianrecipe
For homemade pesto
- 50-75 g fresh basil leaves (2-2.5 oz) rinsed and dried
- 1-2 garlic cloves peeled
- 70 g Parmigiano Reggiano (2oz) grated
- 35 g Pecorino from Sardinia (1.5 oz) or just Parmigiano
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil. (3.5 floz) or as required
- 30 g pine nuts (1oz)
For homemade béchamel
- 100 g unsalted butter (3.5oz)
- 100 g '00' or all purpose flour (3.5oz)
- 1 Lt fresh whole milk (about 4 cups) you may need more
- 1 tsp grated nutmeg
- 200 g fresh thin lasagne sheets (7oz) I used 10 sheets for 4 people or dried pasta sheets
- 50 g Parmigiano Reggiano (2oz) for baking
- salt to for pesto and béchamel to taste
- 12-15 thin slices provola cheese 3-4 per layer except the top
Make the béchamel.
Put the butter in a pan over a low heat, melt it, add the flour and mix until it forms a thick paste (roux), then remove it from the heat. At this point, slowly add the milk and stir continuously to dissolve the roux without making lumps.
Put the pan on a moderate to low heat and keep stirring constantly until it starts to simmer and thicken. Lower the flame, wait a couple of minutes, then turn it off.
Add a pinch of salt and the nutmeg, mix it again for a few minutes and then allow it to cool to thicken it further. You can also leave it in the fridge. If the béchamel seems too thick when you are ready to assemble your lasagna, add some more milk to it. Stir well to incorporate.
Prepare the pasta if using dried or slightly thick fresh pasta sheets.
Assemble your basil pesto lasagna.
Spread some bèchamel over the bottom of your oven dish. Cover it with pasta sheets. Spread another layer of béchamel on the pasta and add some pesto to it. Spread the pesto too. Add some slices of provola (if using). Then do another layer of pasta, then béchamel, then pesto and provola. Continue till you have 4-6 layers, depending on the size of your dish. Finally, cover the top with just béchamel or béchamel and pesto and sprinkle with a generous layer of grated Parmigiano.