This recipe for both the lasagna AND the ricotta are my family’s favorites… the lasagna is yummy even without the ricotta, just simple layers of pasta with creamy pecorino besciamella!
- 1 gallon whole milk
- 1 T kosher salt
- juice of 1 lemon
- cheese cloth
In a large, non-reactive pot (I just love my new enamelware!), bring all ingredients to high simmer. When curds start forming, remove from heat, allowing to rest and separate. Place single layer of cheese cloth in a fine mesh strainer, hold over a large bowl. Allow to drain for several minutes. This ricotta is wonderful stuffed in grilled peaches with a drizzle of honey! Or try it with grilled ciabatta (drizzle olive oil+sprinkle of salt+grill=YUM), or as I did for the lasagna: season with 2 T olive oil, 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, 1 tsp dry oregano
*if you add a liquid rennet dissolved in 1/4 cup water, once you strain ~ knead the cheese, adding a bit of the hot whey, pull and you actually make mozzarella!
Lasagne In Bianco
- 1 cup onion, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup flour+ 2 T
- 3/4 tsp nutmeg, fresh ground using microplane
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flake
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 4 cups milk (I use whole)
- 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup Pecorino, grated (can use Parmigiano-Reggiano)
- 1 package no-boil egg lasagna sheets
- salt and pepper to taste
preheat oven to 350, prepare 8×11 inch baking dish, or two smaller pans (its always good to share!)
Cook onion and garlic in butter in a large pan over medium heat, until tender. Add flour, cooking over low heat for several minutes, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Add nutmeg, red pepper and oregano; slowly whisk milk and stock into pan. Bring to low boil, stirring, just until sauce coats the back of your wooden spoon. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly. Stir in eggs, salt, pepper and about a 1/4 of the Pecorino.
Spread 2 ladles of besciamella into bottom of prepared baking dish (about a cup); place 3 sheet of lasagna, continue repeating the layers (sauce+lasagna), ending with sauce ~ top with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes. Remove from oven, but be careful… it is going to be hot and bubbly! Mangia!
*If you want to use the ricotta in between the layers, simply spread it on the lasagna noodles before topping with sauce. You can also make the traditional egg, ricotta, Parmigiano combo … but why mess with goodness? Save that for the store-bought stuff!