lasagna with pistacchio pesto e taleggio
Once in a while bob gets a food idea in his head and is driven to pursue and
execute the result of the search for how to deliver the initially vague idea. A
random Facebook post hits bob with a video of food porn quality showing a
pistacchio pesto cheese and pancetta lasagna. In Italian. Half my time line is
in foreign languages: Italian, Armenian, Hindi, sometimes Russian ...
Fortunately right clicking in Google Chrome will translate these posts on a
laptop---NOT on a smart phone! What kind of smart is that?
Nosing around the internet with Italian keywords (lasagna, pistacchio with
two "c"'s, taleggio) brought up variations,
usually with either prosciutto or even mortadella, but Ani vetoed both even
though she is a mortadella lover. bob was thinking vegetarian, so what to do to
replace the animal parts? Finally he finds a hit without any animals mentioned
in the recipe title: just pistacchio and taleggio, a rich creamy cheese that
melts well, so the search ended there. In the fine print there was easily
ignored prosciutto (half a pound cubed).
This is not baking nor rocket science so there is no need to be careful with
the ingredient quantities or the instructions here. Yes, there is baking going
on but just to cook the lasagna noodles and melt the cheese into the bechamel
sauce. We nixed the prosciutto in this recipe and bob insisted on not melting
the taleggio into the bechamel sauce. Next time we will have to give that
a try since taleggio is impossible to slice up into little pieces to spread
around layers of lasagna. It got some freezer time to stiffen up but not enough.
It was really a drag trying to convince the cheese to cooperate.
We did not consult the recipe when grabbing the raw pistachios from Trader
Joes, but we had about half a 30g package in the fridge for a total of about 45
g. We divided it up between the pesto and crumbs for layering, although which
was more is not clear from bob's vague memory.
- 25 g raw pistachios (they suggested 60 g pistacchi di Bronte, we
used Trader Joe's)
- 1/2 c freshly grated parmigiano
- 2 oz fresh basil leaves, an entire bunch (they suggested 5 marjoram
- 1 garlic clove (they only suggested 1/2 but we love garlic)
- 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- bechemal sauce
- 6 c milk
- 6 T butter
- 6 T flour
- nutmeg to taste
- a bit of salt
- 4 medium leeks, clearned and sliced crossways finely
- 1 c plus whatever it takes of freshly grated parmigiano
- 20? g raw pistachios food processed to crumbs (we used Trader Joe's).
- 1 lb whole wheat pasta, lasagna output at notch 6 roller thickness
- Make sure you have an adequate lasagna baking pan. We just acquired a
9x13x2.75 in ceramic classic lasagna pan. Vertical sides so one noodle length
works for all the layers. We use a long sort of crooked wooden spoon for the
length cuts. Was just right for our 8 super thin sparingly sauced layers.
- Food process enough chunks of parmigiano to feed the recipe with up to 2
c of product, though 1.5 c is the estiimate.
- Throw all the pesto ingredients into a food processor and process.
Fiddle with the olive oil quantity to make it moist enough so youo
don't have to press it on a plate to separate it into smaller bits to stir
into the bechamel layers. Set aside.
- Saute the leeks in a few tablespoons of live oil until thoroughly
softened. Set aside.
- This is best with homemade whole wheat pasta produced according to
our recipe, but you might be able to buy a pound of fresh lasagna
noodles, and pass them through a pasta roller machine to decrease the
thickness to number 6. Do whatever it takes to obtain these noodles.
- Make the standard bechamel sauce. Melt the butter in a heavy nonstick
pot. Work in the flour. Pour in the milk and add the other ingredients.
Bring to a simmer and thicken the sauce a bit. We will just assume you can
handle this step.
- When ready to assemble, boil the nndoles two at at time for a minute or
so and then cool in ice water and lay out to dry on dish towels. Cut for
- Start with spreading bechemal and a few tablespoons of pesto evenly
around the bottom. Then the first pair of (wide) noodles, trmmed at the
corners to match the rounded pan corners.
- Then repeat the behemal and pesto spread. Sprinkle sparingly some leeks,
then some parmigiano. Trying to judge it lasting about 8 repetitions, though
no leeks on the surface. Who am I kidding? You are never going to make this
lasagna. Too bad because it is really worth it.
- Bake at 360 degree Fahrenheit for 45 minutes, then broil it to finish
the suface without burning it.
- Let rest 15 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy, at least in your imagination.
- Pistachio is English. Pistacchio is Italian.
- The initial food porn video:
lasagna al pistacchio con pancetta e provola.
- The recipe inspiring our variation is instead from
Il Cucchiaio d'Argento (Silver Spoon): Lasagne ai pistacchi e taleggio.
It uses (unsweetened) pistachios from Bronte, the king of Sicilian
pistacchios for the pesto but you might find pistachio pesto in an Italian
food products store or just follow our example and make the pesto yourself.
- Sicily is the home of Italy's most prized "pistacchio di Bronte" [Google,