Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Luscious Lasagna

Every once in a while, you find a recipe that you just can't wait to cook. And every now and then, the recipe really lives up to the photo. This one, exceeded all our expectations. It is both healthy and tasty. Made with a bechemel sauce and swiss chard, some fontina and the right spices, and wow, was it good. We decided to use a farro pasta, which added another more healthful element. For the filling, saute 1 lb of sweet Italian sausage until brown, then remove and drain. Reduce heat to medium, add olive oil to coat the pan, saute 2 shallots cut crosswise into strips and 1/2 a diced onion until translucent. Add two bunches of swiss chard, chopped finely, stems removed. Cook a few minutes then add 3 cloves of chopped garlic, 1 Tbl grated lemon zest, season with salt and pepper. When chard is wilted, add 2 Tbl lemon juice. Transfer to colander and drain the liquid out, pressing until the chard is dry. In a saucepan, make the bechamel by melting 5 Tlbs butter over medium heat. Add 1/3 cup flour and stir until smoothe. Add 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes,and 1 tsp salt. Whisk 4 cups of heated milk into mixture, bring to boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer until thickened around 10 minutes. To assemble lasagna, cook pasta until it is soft to the touch, put a layer of bechamel on the bottom of the baking dish, then layer with chard, sausage, some fontina cheese (start with 8 ounces grated) divided between the layers. Finish the top with the pasta, bechamel and cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Serve with a light salad for a delicious, nutritious meal.