Prep 1 hr
Cook 45 mins
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.
- 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
- 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.
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.