I was home again this weekend (don’t worry I’ll be on the road again next week), wheee, so I decided to cook a big Sunday dinner. Earlier in the week I happen to be watching the hilarious show Extra Virgin with Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos, if you have never seen it check it out as it’s rather adorable, and they made a delicious lasagna with béchamel sauce instead of ricotta, and I has been wanting it all week.
When I popped to the farmer’s market on Saturday in addition to the regular red tomatoes they had orange ones, which clearly needed me to turn them into sauce!
Making fresh sauce is super easy, but rather messy. I use the same recipe from my adventure in pasta making last October. Since veggies are at their freshest at this point in the summer I decided to make a simple veggie sauce with carrots and red peppers, I let that simmer for about an hour and then left it to sit for about 5 hours to let the flavors have a dance party.
Debi and Gabriele made their ricotta-less lasagna look so amazing when they did it with béchamel so I decided to try that instead of my usual Alfredo sauce. I used Giada’s recipe for the bechamel, which was very easy but I would recommend you get your milk warmed up before you start the flour and butter as they cook quickly and you do not want to burn your sauce.
Once both sauces were ready I went ahead and assembled the lasagna, even though I didn’t plan to bake it for a few hours. Now, if you are using dried pasta sheets to make your lasagna make sure you put a layer of sauce at the bottom of the pan to ensure there is enough moisture for the noodles. From their alternate a layer of orange sauce, a layer of béchamel (it comes out more like a squiggle then a layer due to its consistency), a sprinkle of parmesan, and another layer of noodles.
I recommend leaving the top layer of noodles off until you are ready to bake, otherwise the moisture below them will cause the noodles to curl up. I baked mine at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, keep an eye on it at the end as your lasagna will be ready with you can see the sauce bubbling around the edge.