Recipe by MarieRynr
This elegant lasagna is a unique twist on the traditional meat lasagna. The caramelized onions take a bit of time, but the results are well worth it, or you can use my recipe for onions caramelized in the crockpot. Caramelizing the onions a day or two before serving this dish cuts down on the preparation time.
Top Review by sugaree
Elegant is the perfect word to describe this dish. I've had it tucked away in my cookbook for oh so long and I'm so glad I had the chance to make it. Simple, clean flavors that blend together wonderfully.
- 8 ounces pancetta or 8 ounces quality regular bacon, minced
- 15 dry lasagna noodles
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- fresh thyme or parsley sprig, for garnish
- 1⁄4 cup unsalted butter
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 5 lbs sweet onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1⁄4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup whipping cream
- freshly ground white pepper
Directions See How It's Made
- For the caramelized onions, heat the butter and olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat.
- Add the onions, (the pan will be quite full at first), cover the pan with a lid (or with fil if the pan is too crowded), and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are completely limp, 10 to 15 minutes.
- REduce the heat to medium, remove the lid, add the sugar and cook uncovered, stirring often, until the onions are golden brown and sweet, 45 to 55 minuters.
- Do not let them burn; reduce the heat to medium low if the onions are browning too fast.
- About 2 minutes before removing the onions from the heat, stir in the thyme.
- Transfer the onions to a bowl, let cook and use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 10 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
- For the bechamel, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Add the shallots and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes, (do not let brown).
- Increase the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the milk and cream.
- REduce the heat to medium low and simmer, whisking frequently, until the sauce thickens, 8 to 10 minutes.
- REmove from heat and season to taste with salt and white pepper.
- Use immediately, or let cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
- If using the next day, warm the sauce over low heat before continuing.
- Saute the pancetta iin a medium skillet over medium heat until just cooked, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Drain onto paper towels and set aside.
- Cook the lasagna noodles in boiling water to which you have added the olive oil and some salt, about 12 minutes, or according to package instructions.
- Drain well, rinse under cool water and drain again.
- Preheat oven to 350*F.
- Brush a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with olive oil.
- Spread 1/2 cup of the bechamel sauce in the bottom of dish.
- Cover with 3 noodles, touching but not overlapping.
- Spread the noodles with another 1/2 cup of the bechamel, then top with 1/4 each of the onions, pancetta, mozzarella cheese and top with another layer of noodles.
- Repeat this layering 3 more times.
- Top with remaining bechamel sauce.
- Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake until the top is just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes more.
- If the top is not browning, turn on the broiler and cook under the broiler until the top begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
- To serve let the sasagna sit in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then cut into servings and arrange the lasagna on individual plates, garnishing each serving with a thyme or a parsley sprig.