Green Lasagna with Pine Nuts, Ricotta and Stewed Garlic
Lasagne verdi con Pinoli e Ricotta e Aglio brasato
1 recipe Fresh Green Pasta Sheets or 1 package of store-bought dry spinach lasagna
2 cups Spicy Tomato Sauce
1/3 cup Olive Oil
3 cups chopped Onions (1 1/2 pounds)
12 large Garlic cloves, thickly sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh Basil
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
½ cup Masala
1 cup Pine Nuts
2 cups Ricotta cheese
2 Eggs, (whites and yolks separated)
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh Parsley
Fresh Pasta Sheets
Spicy Tomato Sauce
Make the Fresh Green Pasta Sheets according to the directions on page xx. Make the Spicy Tomato Sauce (see recipe on main recipe page) .
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onions and garlic and cook 1-2 minutes, until they start to sizzle. Reduce the heat to low and slowly simmer, stirring often, until the onions are tender and brown, 25-30 minutes. Season with the chopped basil, salt and pepper. Pour on the Masala, stirring to dislodge any flavorful brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan. Simmer over medium high heat until the liquid is dry, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the Spicy Tomato Sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to combine the flavors. Remove from the heat and let the sauce cool to room temperature.
To toast the pine nuts, toss them in a little olive oil and bake on a non-stick baking sheet in a preheated 325 degrees oven for 5-6 minutes until they are golden brown.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water mixed with a few extra tablespoons of olive oil. Cook 3-4 pasta sheets at a time in the boiling water to al dente, about 1 minute. If you are using dry pasta, cook according to manufacturer’s directions. Lift the cooked sheets out and plunge them directly into the ice water. Drain and place the cooked sheets flat on a lightly oiled baking sheet or tray. Repeat with the remaining sheets. If you are stacking or storing the pasta for later use, lightly brush or spray the sheets with additional olive oil so they do not stick. Cover the cooked pasta with plastic wrap until ready to use.
In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta cheese and egg yolks until it is creamy and smooth. Fold in one cup of the grated Parmesan cheese. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the ricotta mixture. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
To assemble the lasagna, line the bottom of a 9"x 13" baking dish with 1 cup of the sauce. Place a layer of pasta on top of the sauce, trimming and overlapping the sheets to fit. Spread the pasta with 3/4 cups of the ricotta mixture, 2-3 tablespoons of the pine nuts and ½ cup more of the sauce. Top with another layer of pasta. Continue in this fashion with the remaining ingredients, finishing with the ricotta mixture and pine nuts.
Bake the lasagna in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until it is golden brown and bubbly. Let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley, cut into rectangles and serve.
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