How to Make Ligurian Vegetable Lasagna

This vegetable lasagna recipe comes from a region off the coast of Italy called Liguria. Liguria is known for making their dishes with fresh made pesto sauce, which is the main part of this dish.
This dish takes prep time of about 30 minutes, cook time is about 1 hour and 15 minutes and this recipe will make 8 servings.

Any frozen ingredients that might be used should be thawed out and drained before adding them into the lasagna.

Ingredients for this recipe are as follows:

– 2 boxes of lasagna sheets or 24 ounces of fresh lasagna sheets
– 1 lb. new potatoes, scrubbed
– 1 tablespoon kosher salt
– 1 bay leaf

For the Pesto Sauce:

– Â¼ cup of basil leaves
– Freshly grated parmesan (can be substituted for diced tomatoes or roasted red peppers)
– 1 lb. of sugar snap peas
– 1 lb. of English peas, shelled, or 1 cup of petite peas
– 1 lb. of asparagus, tips only (about 2 to 2 ½ inches)
– 1 lb. of green beans, trimmed, or 1 lb. of haricot verts
– 3 scallions, green parts only, roughly chopped
– 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
– 1 cup of ricotta cheese (can be substituted for ¾ cup of pine nuts instead)

Instructions:

1. If you are using dough to make fresh lasagna sheet, start with making the dough and leaving it aside to rest. If you are using box lasagna sheets, you can skip this step.
2. Cover the potatoes in a medium pot with water. Add salt and the bay leaf for flavor. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes until tender. Drain them, remove the bay leaf and let the potatoes cool.
3. While the potatoes are cooling, you can make your pesto sauce. Bring salted water to boil in a large pot and add all of your peas, asparagus and green beans. Cook for about 3 minutes until they are bright green and crisp. Remove from the heat and drain.
4. Dip all of the vegetables in a salted ice water bath to stop the cooking process and drain again.
5. Take half of the vegetable medley and puree it either with a blender or a food processor. Add the scallions, basil leaves and olive oil to the puree. Salt and pepper to taste.
6. Fold in the ricotta (or the pine nuts) and set the puree aside.
7. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

If you are using box lasagna sheets:

While the oven is heating up, boil a large pot of salted water. When water is boiling, add 4 sheets at a time and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the sheets and set aside. Repeat this step until all of the lasagna sheets are cooked. Do not worry that they are still hard because they will finish cooking in the oven.

If you are making fresh lasagna sheets:

Roll out the door you set aside. Cut the dough in half and store the other half to keep from drying. Dust your surface, the rolling pin and your dough with a little bit of flour. Roll the dough through your pasta machine a few times. Start at the highest setting and keep reducing the setting with every pass through until the dough is about 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut the sheets into 3 foot long lengths.

Assembly:

Oil or butter a 9×13 inch pan Add one layer of lasagna sheets to the bottom. Spread a thin layer of puree on top of the sheets. Scatter some of the vegetables on top of the puree. Layer some of the chopped or sliced potato on top of the vegetables. Try to make it as even as possible. Add another layer of lasagna sheets and continue with the same patterns of puree, vegetables and potato until the all of the lasagna sheets are used. Add parmesan cheese (or diced tomatoes or roasted red peppers) on the top layer. Drizzle the top with olive oil, and then bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. When it’s done, take it out to cool for 10 minutes. After that, simply slice plate and enjoy!

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