Pesto Lasagna

Recipe by Ryan Johnston, executive chef, Whisknladle.

Basil Pesto Ingredients:

Serves 4–6

10 1/2 oz blanched fresh basil
2 oz mortared peeled garlic
5 oz grated Parmesan cheese
3 oz toasted pine nuts
20 oz extra virgin olive oil
Lasagna Ingredients
24 oz roma tomatoes
6 oz lasagna noodles
2 oz chopped garlic
2 oz arugula
8 ounces ricotta cheese
2 oz basil pesto


Basil Pesto

Prepare a bowl of ice water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put the basil in a sieve and plunge it into the boiling water, pushing the leaves down into the water and stirring them so they blanch evenly. Blanch for 15 seconds, then plunge the herbs into the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain immediately, squeeze the herbs dry, and roughly chop. Peel and chop garlic and then grind to a paste with a mortar and pestle or the back of a spoon. Next, in a blender or food processor, combine the blanched basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts and puree. Add the olive oil in a steady stream while the processor is on.


Boil lasagna noodles according to package directions. After cooking, submerge noodles in cool water until needed. Slice tomatoes and season with salt, pepper, and chopped garlic. In a 9x9 casserole dish, layer pasta, tomatoes, arugula, ricotta, and pesto, starting with the pasta first. Repeat until desired size at least three layers. Bake at 425˚ F until golden brown and hot, which will take about 20–30 minutes.

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