Every year I make this lasagna at Jade’s request for breaking of the fast. I make 2 huge dishes and it is the first thing to go.
People call me for weeks afterward, asking for the recipe. So I am sharing it with you.
The secret is… it is all about the cheese. I use only the best, softest mozzarella and a good quality Reggiano Parmesan.
I also love the way the capers and the olives in the Puttanesca sauce add something special to this dish.
And the final key to the dish’s success is cooking it long enough to let it develop a golden, crispy, cheesy crust on top.
It’s defiantly a rich and decadent dish but if you are going to indulge this is the dish to splurge on.
Enjoy the ooey-gooey, cheesy goodness xxx Chef MM
Puttanesca Pesto Lasagna
- 10 TBS butter
- 6 cups of room temperature milk (better to use whole milkbut can use 2%)
- ½ cup flour
- Coarse Salt & Black Pepper to taste
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- 16 oz/450 g box of flat lasagna noodle
- Olive oil to boil pasta
- 25 oz /700 g bottle of store-bought Puttanesca sauce
- 7 oz /190 g bottle of store-bought pesto sauce
- 16 oz/450 g log of fresh mozzarella
- 1 ½ cups freshly grated Reggiano parmesan
FOR THE PASTA
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt & olive oil. Add the noodles in batches of 10 to avoid them sticking together. Stir occasionally and boil the noodles for 5-6 minutes to soften. Place them onto a dishcloth and repeat with the remaining noodles.
FOR THE SAUCE
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk to dissolve. Whisk in room temperature milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and is thick and smooth, about 7 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Butter a baking dish. Pour in 1/3 of Puttanesca sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Add a layer of lasagna sheets, 1/3 of the béchamel sauce & another layer of lasagna. Top with mozzarella broken into pieces, ½ the bottle of pesto and remaining Puttanesca sauce. Top with lasagna sheets, 1/3 of the béchamel sauce, lasagna sheets, béchamel, and remaining ½ bottle of pesto. Cover with freshly grated parmesan.
Preheat the oven to 450 F/230 C
Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden brown & crispy (about 30 minutes longer). Let stand for 10 minutes.
Use room temp butter and milk so béchamel sauce thickens quickly. If you use cold milk & butter it will take sauce longer to cook.
Cook lasagna noodles in batches so they don’t stick together.
Can be made ahead and refrigerated. Best not to freeze but can freeze & thaw before cooking.