Lasagne al Pesto

Lasagne al Pesto
  • coursePrimo piatto
  • difficultyEasy
  • preparation time1 hour 30 minutes

It's all about the layers in lasagne (yes, spelled with an "e" — in Italian, lasagna refers to a single sheet of the wide, flat pasta), the beloved baked dish that hails from Emilia-Romagna. We love this recipe for pesto lasagne, which combines simple fresh ingredients to create a complex symphony of flavors.

Lasagne al Pesto (Pesto Lasagna)
Recipe courtesy of Eataly

Yield: 4 servings

For the Pesto Sauce
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 pinch sea salt
¼ cup freshly-grated Parmigiano Reggiano
3 tablespoons freshly-grated Pecorino Romano
5 ounces Ligurian extra virgin olive oil, plus more to store

Nota bene: if you don't have the ingredients to make fresh pesto at home, use a 7.1 oz jar of Niasca Portofino Basil Pesto!

For the Lasagne
1 recipe egg pasta dough, rolled to thinnest setting on pasta machine, or dry lasagne
1 recipe besciamella (béchamel sauce)
1 cup haricots verts or green beans
1 cup grated Pecorino Sardo or Pecorino Romano

To mix the pesto:

In a large stone mortar, combine the basil, garlic, and salt, and grind with a pestle until paste. Add the cheeses, and drizzle in the olive oil, beating it with a wooden spoon. Store the pesto in jars, topped with extra virgin olive oil.

Chef’s note: If you do not have a mortar and pestle, you may use a food processor to make the pesto. However, be sure to pulse the mixture so that the least amount of heat is generated. See our guide to pesto!

To create the lasagne:

If making your own pasta, divide the dough into 8 portions. Roll each one out through the thinnest setting on a pasta machine and lay the sheets on a lightly floured surface to dry for 10 minutes. Cut the pasta into 5-inch squares and cover with a damp kitchen towel.

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 2 tablespoons salt. Set up an ice bath next to the stovetop. Drop the pasta into the boiling water, 6 or 7 pieces at a time (or according to dry pasta package cooking time), and cook until tender, about 1 minute. Transfer to the ice bath to cool, then drain on kitchen towels, laying the pasta flat.

To assemble the dish:

Preheat an oven to 425ºF. Bring 6 quarts of water to boil, and add 2 tablespoons salt. Set up an ice bath next to the boiling water.

Boil the haricots verts for 1 minute. Drain (reserving the hot water), and refresh them in the ice bath. Remove the haricots verts, drain well (reserving the ice water), cut them into 1-inch pieces, and set them aside.

Cut the pasta into 5-inch squares, and drop them into same boiling water as the haricots verts. Cook the pasta for 1 minute until tender. Remove, and refresh them in the ice bath. Drain the lasagne on towels, and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, stir the béchamel, pesto, and grated cheese together until they are well combined. Butter 4 gratin dishes, and place one piece of 5-inch pasta on the bottom of each one.

On top of the pasta, place the following a few haricots verts and 2 tablespoons of the pesto-béchamel-cheese mixture before adding another layer of the pasta. Continue with this layering until there are 4 pieces of pasta and 4 layers of haricots verts and pesto. Lay one more piece of pasta on top, followed by a spoonful of pesto mixture. Put the 4 dishes in the oven, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are bubbling and golden brown on top.

Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Buon appetito!


See more ways to make lasagne with our how-to guide on Eataly Magazine!