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ARTICHOKES LASAGNA

Chef Nicola Rotticelli of La Giara, Messina, Italy
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 10 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh lasagna
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons flour, sifted
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 cups milk, warmed
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 10 Catanese artichokes
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon peperoncino
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • ½ pound fresh mozzarella, diced

Method:
In a large pot bring salted water to a boil; add lasagna sheets a few at a time and cook until al dente. Remove sheets carefully and drain between towels; set aside.

To make bechamel sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in flour. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg; cook until flour begins to change color. Slowly whisk in warm milk until sauce is smooth and thickened. Remove from heat; stir in 1 Tablespoon basil and ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese. Reserve.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Snip off the top third of the outer leaves of each artichoke and cut artichokes into small pieces. Heat oil in large pot; add artichokes with peperoncino, mint and salt to taste. Cook for about 20 minutes; pass the cooked artichokes in a mixer until pastelike. In a bowl, stir this paste with the béchamel sauce.

To assemble lasagna, place a few sheets of the cooked lasagna in a greased baking dish followed by a thin layer of the artichoke béchamel. Sprinkle with Parmesan, diced mozzarella and extra basil. Continue to layer in this order, finishing with sauce and Parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes; serve.


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