Pistachio and mortadella lasagne recipe

Pistachio and mortadella lasagne recipe

A combination of delicious things from both north and south Italy, it's the embodiment of Italian unity. Pistachios are the star of this dish. Their jade hue gives the béchamel such a distinctive colour but most of all, though, they provide delicious texture and crunch. But they aren’t alone. Mortadella, a ham from the city of Bologna in the northern region of Emilia-Romagna, punctuates the lasagne’s festive green with little studs of pink, and is just so pretty. The smoked mozzarella, a classic Neapolitan ingredient, adds further geographical diversity to the recipe and such incredible flavour.

Ingredients

For the pistachio pesto
  • 200 g raw, unsalted pistachio nuts, shelled
  • 15 –20g/0.5–0.7oz fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
  • 80 g Parmesan, or vegetarian alternative, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 150 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7.1 oz raw, unsalted pistachio nuts, shelled
  • 15 –20g/0.5–0.7oz fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
  • 2.8 oz Parmesan, or vegetarian alternative, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 5.3 fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7.1 oz raw, unsalted pistachio nuts, shelled
  • 15 –20g/0.5–0.7oz fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
  • 2.8 oz Parmesan, or vegetarian alternative, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 0.6 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the b├ęchamel
  • 100 g plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 1 l whole (full-fat) milk
  • 0.8 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinch each of salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3.5 oz plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 3.5 oz unsalted butter
  • 1.8 pints whole (full-fat) milk
  • 0.8 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinch each of salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3.5 oz plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 3.5 oz unsalted butter
  • 4.2 cups whole (full-fat) milk
  • 0.8 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinch each of salt and black pepper, to taste
For the lasagne
  • 500 g lasagne pasta sheets
  • 300 g mortadella, diced into small pieces
  • 350 g smoked scamorza, diced into small pieces
  • 80 g Parmesan, or vegetarian alternative, grated
  • 40 g unsalted pistachio nuts, shelled and coarsely chopped
  • 17.6 oz lasagne pasta sheets
  • 10.6 oz mortadella, diced into small pieces
  • 12.3 oz smoked scamorza, diced into small pieces
  • 2.8 oz Parmesan, or vegetarian alternative, grated
  • 1.4 oz unsalted pistachio nuts, shelled and coarsely chopped
  • 17.6 oz lasagne pasta sheets
  • 10.6 oz mortadella, diced into small pieces
  • 12.3 oz smoked scamorza, diced into small pieces
  • 2.8 oz Parmesan, or vegetarian alternative, grated
  • 1.4 oz unsalted pistachio nuts, shelled and coarsely chopped

Details

  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Recipe Type: Pasta
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Preparation Time: 15 mins
  • Cooking Time: 65 mins
  • Serves: 6

Step-by-step

For the pistachio pesto

  1. Toast the pistachio nuts in a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat for around 3–4 minutes. Keep them moving to prevent them burning, and once lightly browned take the pan off the heat.
  2. Place the basil leaves, Parmesan, garlic and a drizzle of olive oil into a mortar and grind with a pestle until creamy.
  3. Add the pistachios and grind until they break down and combine with the mixture. You should have a creamy yet slightly chunky consistency. Drizzle in the remaining olive oil and continue to grind until you have a creamy paste. Add salt to taste.

For the lasagne

  1. Begin by preparing the béchamel. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat, then slowly add the flour, whisking until completely combined.
  2. Heat the milk in a separate pan. Gradually add the heated milk to the butter and flour mixture over a low heat, stirring continuously to ensure no lumps form. Stir the sauce until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, then add salt, pepper and grated nutmeg.
  3. Combine the béchamel with the pistachio pesto to obtain a creamy sauce.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
  5. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of the pesto-béchamel mixture into the base of 25 x 19cm (10 x 7.5inch) baking dish and spread to form an even layer. Cover with lasagne sheets – don’t worry if they overlap a little. Then add another layer of the pesto-béchamel. Follow this with a scattering of the mortadella and smoked scamorza and top with some grated Parmesan.
  6. Repeat the following steps – lasagne, pesto-béchamel, mortadella, mozzarella and Parmesan – until you have used up all the ingredients. You should have 4–5 layers of lasagne sheets.
  7. Top with the chopped pistachios, cover with aluminium foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  8. Once piping hot, remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

This recipe is from Perfect Pasta at Home by Pasta Evangelists. Published in hardback by Seven Dials, priced £20.

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