Tuesday, April 19, 2011

For Whom the Bell Tolls

A couple of weeks ago, Alex and I had our friends Richard and Chantal over for a little double date dinner party. It was the first of hopefully many more to come in our new DC apartment. I addition to getting to test out a few new recipes on my unsuspecting guests, I also got the chance to try out my new Chicago Metallic Lasagna Pan.

I don't make a ton of lasagna, so maybe this purchase was a little silly, but this pan is pretty sweet. It's got individual rows, the exact size of a lasagna noodle. Not only is it great because you can make three different kinds of lasagna, but it is also easy to cut and serve as it comes with it's own handy, lasagna size spatula. Additionally, like cupcakes to cake, you can choose to make only a small lasagna, rather than a whole pan.

I'm totally a fan. Oh and here is the recipe for the white, vegetarian lasagna I made for Chantal, me, and our weak stomachs

Spinach, Pesto, and Fontina Lasagna (from Bon Appétit)
Serves 8

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 6-ounce packages baby spinach
  • 18 lasagna noodles
  • 3 1/2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups coarsely grated Italian Fontina cheese (8 ounces), divided
  • Herb Pesto

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk 1 minute. Add milk and wine and whisk until smooth. Cook until sauce thickens and comes to boil, whisking constantly, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in Parmesan cheese and salt. Season sauce to taste with pepper.

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic. Sauté until shallots soften, about 2 minutes.

Add all spinach. Cook spinach until wilted but still bright green, tossing often, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, transfer spinach to large sieve set over bowl; reserve pot. Press out excess liquid from spinach. Drain 10 to 15 minutes longer. Return drained liquid from spinach to reserved pot. Boil until liquid is reduced to glaze. Return spinach to pot and toss 1 minute. Remove spinach from heat. Mix in 1 1/2 cups sauce. Season spinach to taste with pepper.

Prepare noodles as directed on package. Place large sheet of parchment paper on work surface. Transfer noodles to parchment in single layer, shaking off excess water.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 13x9 inch glass baking dish or lasagna plan.

Mix ricotta, Parmesan, and lemon peel in medium bowl. Season with salt. Mix in egg.

Spread 1/2 cup sauce thinly over bottom of prepared dish. Top with 3 noodles, arranged side by side and covering most of bottom of dish. Spread half of spinach mixture over, about 1 1/2 cups. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup Fontina. Top with 3 noodles and half of ricotta mixture, a generous 1 3/4 cups. Drop half of pesto over by teaspoonfuls, spacing drops evenly apart. Continue layering with 3 noodles, remaining spinach mixture, 1/3 cup Fontina, 3 more noodles, remaining ricotta mixture, then remaining pesto. Top with last 3 noodles. Spread remaining sauce over; sprinkle with remaining Fontina.

Cover dish with buttered foil. Bake lasagna until heated through and bubbling at edges, 50 to 55 minutes. Remove from oven. Remove foil from dish. Preheat broiler. Broil lasagna until top is browned in spots, turning dish occasionally for even browning, about 4 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes to set up.


  1. I've seen these lasagna pans! I agree--it would be so convenient to make a few different types of lasagna or a small one instead of a large pan of it.

    And your lasagna creations look great!

  2. I've never made lasagna! these little pans are so cute, I might just need to get some!!

  3. I think that pan is perfect for someone who doesn't make lasagna often because you can make 3, eat 1, and freeze the other 2!