If Mornay sauce doesn’t sound familiar, there’s no need to draw back in fear. It’s just white sauce, really, Béchamel sauce (Besciamella to the Italians) to be more precise with grated cheese stirred in. This is a very easy recipe, very tasty, very creamy. It’s based on a recipe by Gabriele Corcos. Oh, yes, we are fans of Extra Virgin. We love Gabriele’s cooking, we think Debi Mazar is funny without trying, they have two adorable daughters (sounds familiar!) and their Tuscan house is a dream.
My version of Gabriele’s pesto lasagne is more American than Italian. With lots of cheese is how my girls like their pasta. This I baked for Sam two weekends ago, the same day that Alex had the vegetarian spaghetti. Oh, by the way, lasagna is singular; lasagne is plural. But they’re the same pasta noodle.
Cook and cut lasagna noodles to fit into your ramekins. Ramekins differ in shapes and sizes so I leave it you how large or small the lasgana pieces should be.
Top the lasagna noodles with pesto. Be generous.
Then, spoon Mornay sauce over the pesto.
Repeat the layers until you have two to three, depending on the depth of your ramekins.
A tip: The wider the ramekins, the more surface area and, ergo, the more Mornay sauce you can use.
Bake the layered lasagne and enjoy.
Lacto-vegetarian lasagne with pesto and Mornay sauce
- 3 to 4 lasagne (lasagna noodles), cooked al dente in lightly salted water
- 6 tablespoons pesto
For the Mornay sauce
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups milk full cream is best; half-and-half is great too
- 3/4 to 1 cup shredded cheese I recommend white Cheddar or Monterey Jack
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Make the Mornay sauce. Start with a roux (see how to make a roux). Melt the butter in a pan, add the flour all at once, stirring to get rid of lumps. Cook over medium heat for two to three minutes. Pour the milk in a this stream, stirring as you pour. When the mixture is smooth, stir in the grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
- Assemble everything. Start by lightly brushing the bottom of three single-serve ramekins with pesto.
- Cut the lasagna noodles to fit into the ramekins.
- Lay a piece of lasagna on the bottom of each of the ramekins. Smother with pesto.
- Top with Mornay sauce.
- Repeat. Two to three layers would be a good height.
- Bake at 375F for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
- Serve with bread. I recommend the basil and garlic focaccia.