It’s ninety days until New Year’s Eve. Subtract two weeks from those ninety days and that’s how many days until Christmas. Here at home, we’ve started experimenting with party dishes. Pasta is always a crowd pleaser and lasagne dishes are so picture pretty to serve. There’s a bevy of baked and unbaked lasagne recipe in the archive and Alex has just cooked another version. This lasagne with pesto and white sauce is so easy to make. There’s more meat than sauce and that’s something that carnivores will surely celebrate about.
The noodles and basic white sauce are prepared the usual way. But, unlike most baked lasagne dishes that require cooking the meat in tomato sauce, the ground beef in Alex’s lasagne with pesto and white sauce is cooked with nothing but butter, herbs and spices. Cumin, oregano and thyme take center stage and the combination makes the meat so aromatic.
With the meat, white sauce and noodles all done, they are assembled before going into the oven.
White sauce is smothered on the bottom of the baking pan to make sure that the noodles don’t stick and scorched.
The noodles go on top of the white sauce.
A third of the ground beef is scattered over the noodles and a third of the white sauce is poured over the beef.
The white sauce is dotted with homemade pesto then shredded cheese is spread over the noodles, meat and sauces.
The process is repeated until there are three uniform layers of noodles, meat, sauces and cheese.
Into the oven goes the lasagne with pesto and white sauce. Some twenty minutes later, it is ready to serve.
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 500 grams ground beef
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 6 to 8 lasagne (the number of noodles you'll need depends on their width and length) cooked in salted water and drained
- ⅓ cup pesto (recipes here and here, or use store-bought)
- 2 cups shredded cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Heat the butter in a frying pan. When the froth dissipates, add the beef and spread over the bottom of the pan. Cook without disturbing until the underside is browned. Stir, breaking up lumps, and continue cooking until the meat loses its raw appearance.
- Sprinkle in the cumin, oregano and thyme. Add salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is almost dry. Taste and add more salt and pepper, as needed. Set aside the beef to cool.
- Make the white sauce. In the same pan where the beef was cooked, melt the remaining ¼ cup of butter. Add the flour all at once and stir to remove lumps. Cook over medium heat for three to four minutes. Pour the milk in a thin stream, stirring as you pour. Cook the white sauce until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
- Assemble the dish. Spread about two tablespoons of the white sauce on the entire bottom of an 8"x8" baking dish.
- Arrange the lasagne on top of the white sauce (tip: cut the noodles to fit the pan).
- Scatter a third of the ground beef over the noodles.
- Pour a third of the white sauce over the meat.
- Take a third of the pesto and drop by teaspoonfuls over the white sauce.
- Spread a third of the shredded cheese over the layers of noodles, meat and sauces.
- Repeat the layering procedure until you have three layers of everything.
- Bake the lasagne with pesto and white sauce at 400F until bubbly and the top is lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
- Rest the baked lasagne for about ten minutes before cutting and serving.
If you’re a lover of lasagne, you might want to check these out too: