About seven years ago, Mark and I went to Italy. Ever since, we have wanted to return. One of our favorite places was Vernazza in Cinque Terre. The area is known for its Pesto, and I still remember having gnocchi and sitting out on the main square while our waiter poked fun at Mark for his attempt at speaking Italian. (Still a sore subject)
At any rate, I am thrilled with my new cookbook and can’t wait to try it out. I obviously needed to attempt Grandma Daria’s Pesto Lasagna.
First the pesto… oh delicious basil and parmesan goodness…
Then for the béchamel sauce.
Combine those two to make the filling.
Next I’m making my own pasta. Nothing makes you feel authentic like getting specialty ingredients.
Now, I’ll admit, I’ve run into some issues in the past making my own pasta. When I was at this point I wasn’t feeling too confident.
But, after ten minutes of kneading it actually changed into a soft ball. Who would have guessed? It cranked through the machine quite nicely!
When the lasagna was assembled it gets layered with more parmesan and fresh mozzarella cheese. Noodles are not cooked in advance. I was a bit nervous about the proportions. I should have known that Daria would not lead me astray.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit- this dish is not meant to be photographed. I’m sure a professional food stylist could work wonders. My pictures just come out looking like green blobs. But they were delicious green blobs.
I took this to my parents’ house where we were short on time for a side so we paired it with a caesar salad. It would have been nicer with something with a touch more acid. The lasagna was met with somewhat mixed reviews. Mason wouldn’t touch it. My Dad said that it was “OK” but he preferred red sauce. My Mom and I both thought they were nutters and that it was delicious. (We were right in case you were wondering.)
If I just had a little Lemon Cello I might feel transported back to Vernazza.
Recipe was in Cooking with Italian Grandmothers.