Grilled Summertime Vegetable Lasagna with Handmade Pasta & Creamy Béchamel Sauce
- 400 grams of all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tbsps olive oil
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 5 tomatoes, peeled & seeded, small dice
- 1 sprig of marjoram or oregano, leaves finely chopped
- kosher salt & black pepper
- 1 zucchini, cut into long & thin slices
- 1 eggplant, cut into long & thin slices
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded & cut into 2 inch wide pieces
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded & cut into 2 inch wide pieces
- extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
- fresh basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a large pot of generously salted water on to boil. Place the flour on a dry and flat surface. Make a well in the center of the flour and place the eggs in the middle of the well. Mix the eggs slowly into the flour by whisking them with a fork. Be careful and try not to let all of the ingredients escape from the well. When everything is starting to come together start to knead the dough until everything is mixed in evenly. Then tightly wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, at the most 3 days. This process is called “resting”. When ready to cut the pasta, take a rolling pin and knife. Cut the dough into 3 even pieces and then roll them out a bit. Take your pasta machine and sprinkle the “rolling wheel” with a little flour so the dough will not stick to the wheel. Starting at the largest setting pass the dough through the machine slowly. Continue rolling the pasta through the machine and each time turn the handle one notch lower to create thin pasta until you have made it to the thinnest setting. Cut the sheets to a size that will fit in your lasagna pan and set aside until ready to boil.
*You may substitute the hand-made pasta for dried pasta if you don’t have time to make it!
Place milk in a small saucepan; heat the milk over medium-low heat. Heat until there are bubbles forming around the edges, do not boil. As an alternative, you may bring milk to room temperature – be sure it is not cold. Place butter in a sauté pan and melt without burning it. Gradually whisk in flour to form a roux which should take a little less than 5 minutes, it will turn a light yellow-brown color. Slowly add warm milk to the roux and whisk until smooth. Cook on medium low heat for about 10 minutes, and remember to keep whisking. It should thicken to a custard consistency. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper.
Basic Tomato Sauce:
Sauté the onion for a few minutes and garlic.
Add the tomatoes and cook together for about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of water to the pan and cook down until the water evaporates. Add the marjoram or oregano, salt and pepper and let cool. Puree the mixture until smooth.
For the Grilled Veggies:
Toss the sliced vegetables with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Grill on both sides until the vegetables are tender and you have nice grill marks on both sides. Set aside for layering in the lasagna.
TIME TO PUT THE LASAGNA TOGETHER!!
Boil the pasta (hand-made) for about 30 seconds and when you remove the pasta from the water toss it with olive oil to prevent sticking. Begin to layer the lasagna starting with a layer of pasta, next tomato sauce, then béchamel, grilled vegetables, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Continue layering until you have used up all of the ingredients. Place in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes and wait 15 minutes before cutting to ensure it sets. While the lasagna is setting, tear some fresh basil leaves and sprinkle over the top of the lasagna.
Serve this delicious dish with the Carneros Chardonnay!