Lasagne al Pesto (Lasagne with basil Pesto) is an original and easy recipe based on layers of egg pasta sheets (Lasagne), with the addition of béchamel and Genovese Pesto. It’s a really tasty dish, ideal for any occasion and it’ also known as Lasagne alla Portofino (the beautiful village on the Ligurian coast!).
Layers of basil Pesto, potatoes, green beans and pine nuts, alternate in this irresistible dish, very easy and quick to prepare, even a day before. Just heat it in the oven a few minutes before serving.
Start to prepare Pesto alla Genovese. You must first specify that the basil leaves are not washed, but cleaned with a soft cloth; moreover you will have to make sure that it is Ligurian or Genoese basil, with narrow leaves (and not the southern one with thick leaves, which often has a mint aroma). Start preparing the pesto by placing the peeled garlic in a mortar together with a few grains of coarse salt. Start pounding and, when the garlic is reduced to cream, add the basil leaves together with a pinch of coarse salt, which will serve to break up the fibers better and to maintain a beautiful bright green color. Then crush the basil against the walls of the mortar by turning the pestle from left to right and at the same time rotate the mortar in the opposite direction (from right to left), taking it by the "ears", or the 4 rounded protrusions that characterize the mortar itself. Continue like this until a bright green liquid comes out of the basil leaves; at this point add the pine nuts and start pounding again to reduce to cream. Add the cheeses a little at a time, stirring constantly, to make the sauce even creamier, and finally the extra virgin olive oil which must be poured flush, always mixing with the pestle. Mix the ingredients well until you obtain a homogeneous sauce.
In the meantime boil the potatoes and the green beens, drain them and set aside.
Prepare the dough: knead the ingredients by hand or with the planetary until you get a homogeneous paste, smooth and elastic, which you will put inside a well closed plastic food bag. Let it stand for at least 1 hour at room temperature.
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin on a floured surface to a thickness that is not too thin and, with a sharp kitchen knife or a cutter wheel, make some rectangles that should have a size just below those of the pan. Place a large saucepan full of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Add salt and add a little oil. Then boil a rectangle of pasta at a time, turning it, when it will rise to the surface transfer it, helping with a slotted spoon, in the bowl with cold water, drain it and pat it well with a cloth.
Spread a layer of béchamel on the bottom (you can find the recipe in the Tips&Variation). Lay a layer of egg pasta in the pan. Cover it with a layer of pesto and a handful of pine nuts.
Continue with peeled and coarsely crumbled potatoes, along with some green beans. Ultimate with a generous handful of Parmesan and a layer of béchamel. Start again with a new layer of pasta, then pesto, pine nuts, potatoes, green beans, parmesan and béchamel. Up to fill the pan. Close with a last layer of pasta covered with pesto, béchamel, pine nuts and Parmesan.
Cook on a medium level of the preheated static oven at 200 ° for about 30 minutes, until a golden crust forms on the surface of the lasagna.
Remove from the oven and let your pesto lasagne rest for about ten minutes before serving.
Lasagne al pesto can be kept in the fridge covered with foil for up to 1-2 days.
You can freeze both raw and cooked if you have used fresh ingredients.
To prepare the Béchamel Sauce heat the milk in a saucepan (the milk must be fresh and whole); Separately, melt the 100 g of butter over low heat, then turn off the heat and add the 100 g of flour all at once, stirring with a whisk to avoid the formation of lumps. Then put back on the soft heat and stir until it becomes golden. In this way you will have obtained what the French call roux; Flavor the milk with the nutmeg and a pinch of salt (you can also do these operations as a last step, when the béchamel is ready); pour a little hot milk on the roux to soften the bottom, then add the rest, stirring vigorously with the whisk. Cook 5-6 minutes on low heat until the sauce has thickened and starts to boil. With this recipe you will get a medium density; if you want a more liquid béchamel sauce you have to reduce the dose of butter and flour; for a thicker béchamel sauce, on the other hand, increase the dose of butter and flour. For the lasagna we suggest you not to ticken too much because it will ticken in the oven.