weeknight gourmet

Broken Lasagna with Walnut Pesto

Since I will be going out to dinner tonight with my dear friend Linda, I thought I’d provide a proven recipe I made a couple of weeks ago. Tim and I both loved it!  Not the greatest dish for leftovers, but, freshly made, it hit the spot on a cold January night.

I was in the mood for a healthy pasta dish and saw this recipe in Food & Wine.  I had never seen broken lasagna used before and thought it sounded fun.  I did manage to find whole-wheat lasagna at my local D’Agostino.  For the bitter greens, I used baby arugula.  I used walnuts but I am sure pine nuts would be great if you have them on hand. For the sauteed mushrooms, I used a pint of pre-sliced white mushrooms (although I am sure cremini or baby bellas would be more flavorful).  I simply sauteed the mushrooms in olive oil and seasoned with kosher salt and pepper.

Last word of advice…don’t skimp on the cheese.  High quality Parmigiano-Reggiano might be one of my most favorite foods.  It lasts forever and is so much better than the pre-packaged grated cheese.

Broken Lasagna with Walnut Pesto

Recipe by Heidi Swanson, Food & Wine

Ingredients

  • 1 cup walnut halves (4 ounces)
  • 2 cups lightly packed basil leaves
  • 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound whole wheat lasagna noodles, broken into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 ounces watercress, arugula or other bitter greens, thick stems discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
  • Sautéed mushrooms, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 8 to 10 minutes, until they are fragrant and lightly browned. Let cool completely. Coarsely chop half of the walnuts and set the remaining toasted walnuts aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the remaining walnuts with the basil and garlic until the walnuts are finely chopped. With the machine on, add the olive oil in a thin stream and process until the pesto is almost smooth. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese and pulse until just incorporated. Transfer the walnut pesto to a bowl and season it with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the broken lasagna noodles to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Return the drained pasta to the pot. Add the watercress and walnut pesto and toss well. Add the reserved pasta water and toss again until well coated. Transfer the pasta to bowls, garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese, the chopped walnuts and sautéed mushrooms and serve.

 

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