This lasagna is based on one we used to get at a local restaurant that has since closed. Their lasagna was rich and delicious with the hazelnuts adding that certain something to the chicken and cheese in this dish. So since I can’t go out and get it anymore I had to try to come up with my own version and I have tweaked it and continue to tweak it- it is always work in process…
Chicken Hazelnut Lasagna with Garlic Bechamel Sauce
- a double recipe of homemade pasta (recipe follows) rolled through your pasta machine to make lasagna noodles – I roll it to a 7 on my Atlas hand-roll machine.
- 3 cloves roasted garlic, (you know… cut the top off of a head of garlic drizzle a little olive oil on it wrap in foil tightly and roast until soft (350F 30-50 minutes). Cool it squeeze the cloves out of the head and store in a jar covered with a little good quality olive oil and a pinch of Vitamin C crystals (to ward off bacteria) store jar tightly closed in the fridge for up to 3 days.)
- take 1/2 of a medium sized butternut squash and peel, seed and cut into 1/2″ cubes, saute in a little olive oil until tender, adding salt, pepper a pinch of rubbed sage and a pinch of oregano to taste.
- 1 can San Marzano tomatoes drained and diced. Add to cooked squash and saute to evaporate some of the liquid.
- 1-1/2 cups shredded beet greens or Swiss chard. Add to tomatoes and squash and cook down.
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, grilled and chopped
- 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned and coarsely chopped.
- 6 slices prosciutto
- 2 cups shredded low moisture mozzarella
- 2 cups fresh mozzarella, squeeze to dry a bit if very moist, slice
- 1 lb ricotta, mixed with 1 beaten egg, 1/4 cup minced parsley and 1 teaspoon prepared pesto
- Bechamel sauce or Parmesan Mornay (see recipe on Croque Monsieur Gougeres recipe) – add the 3 roasted garlic cloves from above with the hot milk and they will dissolve into the sauce.
- Minced fresh Italian Parsley, about 3 Tablespoons
- 1 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese, use the good stuff!
In a roasting pan or 9 x 13 glass baking dish, start with a layer of garlic bechamel on the bottom, cover with the squash -tomato-chard mixture and top with a little more garlic bechamel. Add a layer of noodles, then ricotta, then chicken and hazelnuts together, intersperse all with shredded cheese and sauce and more noodles, use prosciutto for the top layer and cover with sliced fresh mozzarella and the last of the garlic bechamel. Sprinkle with a little chopped parsley and the parmesan cheese. Please layer it the way you like it – it’s all to your taste anyway. Be your own boss here!!!
Bake at 350F for about 1 hour or until golden, heated through and bubbling. Cool a little and cut and serve. I think all lasagnas are better the next day when reheated but just my opinion. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers if there are any.
Home made Pasta Dough , one recipe – double this to have enough noodles for the above lasagna and since there are few ingredients make sure they are good quality and fresh.
- one cup flour
- 1 egg
- good pinch salt
- enough sprinkles of water to pull it together
Mix flour and salt in a bowl, mix in egg with a fork making shaggy particles not a smooth paste, add a few drops of room temperature water to start to pull together a dough. Turn out on a lightly floured board and add more water or flour as necessary to make a knead-able dough, it should be slightly tacky but not stick to the kneading surface. It is easier to add more water as you go along than it is to add more flour, I find it easier to flour my board and rub it lightly then knead on it if I need to add more flour and to wet my hands and shake them off and knead to add more moisture. NOW knead for 15 minutes, meditate and get that upper body workout you’ve been promising yourself. After 15 minutes you should have a very different dough than what was in the bowl at the beginning. It should be smooth with a very fine surface. Cover it with plastic wrap to prevent it forming a skin and let it rest for 45 minutes before rolling and shaping.