Lasagna with Béchamel sauce instead of the usual tomato sauce. If you think that makes a bland pasta dish, consider that there’s ground beef browned with cumin to give off an earthy sweetish flavor and aroma. And then, there’s the copius amount of cheese. Two cups of shredded cheese tucked between the layers of pasta, meat and sauce. Hungry yet?
Have I mentioned pesto? You might now see it in the photo above but, yes, there’s pesto in every layer of this lasagna dish too. So, you see, tomato sauce is not a must for a good lasagna casserole. But don’t scrimp on the Béchamel sauce and cheese. You’ll regret it if you do.
Pesto and White Sauce Lasagna
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
Brown the beef
- Heat the butter in a frying pan.
- When the froth dissipates, add the beef and spread over the bottom of the pan.
- Cook without disturbing until the underside is browned. Stir, breaking up lumps, and continue cooking until the meat loses its raw appearance.
- Sprinkle in the cumin, oregano and thyme. Add salt and pepper.
- Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is almost dry.
- Taste and add more salt and pepper, as needed.
- Set aside the beef to cool.
Make the white sauce
- In the same pan where the beef was cooked, melt the remaining 1/4 cup of butter.
- Add the flour all at once and stir to remove lumps.
- Cook over medium heat for three to four minutes.
- Pour the milk in a thin stream, stirring as you pour.
- Cook the white sauce until thickened.
- Season with salt and pepper.
Assemble the dish
- Spread about two tablespoons of the white sauce on the entire bottom of an 8″x8″ baking dish.
- Arrange the lasagna on top of the white sauce (see notes after the recipe).
- Scatter a third of the ground beef over the noodles.
- Pour a third of the white sauce over the meat.
- Take a third of the pesto and drop by teaspoonfuls over the white sauce.
- Spread a third of the shredded cheese over the layers of noodles, meat and sauces.
- Repeat the layering procedure until you have three layers of everything.
- Bake the pesto and white sauce lasagna at 400F until bubbly and the top is lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
- Rest the baked lasagna for about ten minutes before cutting and serving.
To my pasta aglio e olio with sun-dried tomatoes, I added bacon and crumbled Hungarian sausage meat. Result? A meaty pasta dish that is still light and fresh. So delicious! So …