Friday, April 18, 2014

For Easter, Lasagna with a Mediterranean Twist

I was going to make you something typical for Easter, like lamb or eggs or Easter bread, but then I thought... pasta.  Still traditional, but with a fresh Mediterranean twist that goes well with anything else you plan to make.  

Delivered by the gods of gluttony, here's a luscious lasagna coming your way.  

Wishing you all a Happy Easter....I'm off to Florence.  A presto!
Mozzarella Bufala-Piccadilly Tomato-Basil-Parmesan Lasagna
You will need,  the tastiest-small-ripe-red tomatoes you can find on the market, a big juicy flavoresome mozzarella di bufala, so juicy...very juicy...how juicy? The milk needs to drip off the corners of your mouth in just one bite.  That juice will be added to your besciamella sauce and let me tell you, it makes a whole lot of difference.  Last but not least, is some fresh basil, some freshly grated parmesan cheese and of course homemade pasta. 

A good mise en place will make this preparation easier, so get all your ingredients organized and set up. 

The rest comes easy.
Mozzarella Bufala-Piccadilly Tomato-Basil-Parmesan Lasagna
Lasagna

Ingredients

homemade lasagna pasta sheets
1 big (juicy) mozzarella di bufala (squeeze the milk from the cheese and put aside for the besciamella)
500 gr fresh datterini tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes, or piccadilly)
200 gr freshly grated parmesan cheese
besciamella sauce
extra virgin olive oil
fresh basil leaves

besciamella sauce:

50 gr butter
30 gr flour
1/2 litre milk (use all the milk you squeezed from the buffala mozzarella and add regular milk to reach 1/2 litre in total)
nutmeg
salt

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour.  Mix to form a cream.  Pour in the milk as you continue to whisk. Mix until it starts to boil.  Add salt, lower the heat and continue to mix as it slowly becomes dense. Approximately 15-20 minutes.  Add the nutmeg mix and remove from heat.

Preparation

Cook the lasagna sheets in salted boiling water and put aside.  Let them cool separately on a big table cloth.  

In a wide pan, heat 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and 2 whole garlic cloves.  When the garlic is golden color, remove from the pan and add the datterini tomatoes whole (do not slice them).  Season with salt.  On high heat toss and mix tomatoes by moving the pan (not with a spoon). As the skin begins to wrinkle remove from the pan, approx 5-10 minutes. The tomatoes need to remain whole in aspect.

Make the besciamella sauce by following the recipe above.

Once all your ingredients are ready prepare la mise en place.

Spread a film of extra virgin oil all around the bottom and edges of the lasagna dish.  Start by adding one layer of lasagna, distribute pieces of mozzarella di buffala on the lasagna sheet, add some tomatoes, basil, parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, place another sheet of lasagna on top and now add a generous amount of besciamella and more parmesan cheese.  Continue with one layer of buffala mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, parmesan and a drizzle of oil, and one layer of besciamella and parmesan. build the layers until you reach the top of the dish.  Finish with tomatoes, basil, besciamella and parmesan. Place in a preheated oven at 200 °C for 45-1 hour.  Remove from oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. 
Mozzarella Bufala-Piccadilly Tomato-Basil-Parmesan Lasagna

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I think my dad is one of the biggest lasagne lovers walking on this planet, and your version looks to die for so I definitely need to make a batch of this for him. "The milk needs to drip off the corners of your mouth in just one bite." Yessss!

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    1. Thank you Sini, i'd bring you and your dad some if only you were closer! :) xxoo

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  2. Elvira ciao!! Sono stata lontana da pc, blog e internet per un bel pò, ne avevo bisogno:)) Venire a trovarti è sempre un piacere per me e che meraviglia questa lasagna... per Pasqua ne ho fatta una simile, oltre ai datterini ho aggiunto gli champignon crema e tanto timo (non potrei vivere senza timo e lo metterei ovunque), splendida l'idea della mozzarella di bufala! Un abbraccio e a prestissimo
    ps.vero che condividerai le foto di Firenze eh??? Insieme a Roma, è la mia città preferita:)

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    1. Ciao! Beh...non avevo pensato al timo!! Ci starebbe d'incanto in questa lasagna e pensa che ne sono piena nel mio orticello, invece il basilico l'ho dovuto comprare.
      Per quanto riguarda Firenze...non sono piu partita...lunga storia, ma andro' presto e cerrrto che condivido le foto, son qui apposta :)))

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  3. La lasagna è casa, è domenica mattina, è odore di buono, è formaggio che fila come i pensieri, è la tradizione che non stanca, è la sfoglia più rassicurante che ci sia...

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    1. E' proprio cosi' e non potevi dirlo in modo migliore!

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