Artichoke & Olive Lasagna
Yield: 8 Servings
For the Bechamel:
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
4 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
2 Tablespoons Dry White Wine
4 Cups Milk
1 1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese, Crumbled
For the Lasagna:
1 1/2 Cup Green Olive Pesto
12 Artichoke Hearts, Oven Roasted, Chopped
2 Cups Sun Dried Tomatoes, Chopped
4 Cups Ricotta Bechamel (See Below)
8 Oz. Fontina Cheese, Grated
9-12 Oven Ready Lasagna Sheets
We created this recipe after making a huge batch of Green Olive Pesto, made with Spanish Olives, Spanish Olive Oil, toasted almonds, and Lemon Grove seasoning from our Marketplace. It was such a hit that we created a number of recipes that made the pesto the star of the show. The crew around here loved this one and all agreed that we needed to make it part of our repertoire. With the roasted artichoke hearts and sun dried tomatoes, the flavors here are are pure Mediterranean. And positively delicious! We generally serve this dish as-is, with a loaf of crusty sourdough bread on the side. But if your family likes something a little heartier, you can easily add shredded chicken. No matter which way you serve it, we're pretty sure this is going to become just as big a hit around your kitchen as it is ours!
Start by making your Bechamel sauce: Melt butter in medium saucepan placed over medium heat. Once melted, add flour. Whisk mixture together until smooth, and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes until flour has cooked through. Slowly add wine, and cook for another 2 minutes. Add milk to mixture, and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened. Turn off heat under pan, add crumbled ricotta, and lightly season mixture with salt and pepper. Let stand, stirring occasionally to incorporate ricotta, until ready to use.
Lightly grease 8"x12" baking pan. Place 3-4 lasagna sheets in bottom of pan. Spread with 1/3 of the pesto, followed by 1/3 each of the artichokes and tomatoes. If using shredded chicken, add to top of the tomatoes. Ladle 1/3 of Bechamel on top of layer, then sprinkle with 1/3 of grated Fontina. Create two more layers in the same manner. Allow lasagna to stand for 30 minutes before baking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover lasagna with foil and bake on center rack of oven for 40 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese has melted and lasagna is bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 20-30 minutes before serving. This will allow the lasagna to set nicely before serving.