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Spotlight on Pasta

Chef Francesco Schintu of Zeffirino at The Venetian in Las Vegas, NV on
Chef Francesco Schintu

Zeffirino Ristorante
at The Venetian

3355 Las Vegas Bld South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 414-3500
(702) 414-3510

Chocolate Lasagna with Pesto
Chef Francesco Schintu of Zeffirino Ristorante at The Venetian – Las Vegas, NV
Adapted by

Chocolate Lasagna with Pesto from Chef Francesco Schintu of Zeffirino Ristorante at The Venetian in Las Vegas, NV on StarChefs.comYield: 4-6 Servings


    Lasagna Dough:
  • 14 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 2 ounces bitter cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon black truffle paste
  • 4 ounces Kahlua liquor

  • 8 ounces pine nuts
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound basil leaves
  • 4 ounces parmesan cheese, grated

  • Parmesan cheese, shaved
  • Edible orchids

For Lasagna Dough:
Blend all ingredients in an electric mixer set to a low speed for approximately 5 minutes, or until the dough no longer sticks to your finger. Form the dough into a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic, and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Divide the dough in half; wrap the half you are not working with in plastic until ready for use. Using a pasta machine, roll out the dough to 1/16-inch thickness. Cut the sheet of dough into 4-inch squares. Lay the squares in a sheet pan, with enough flour between layers so the pasta does not stick together; refrigerate.

For Pesto:
Put the pine nuts, garlic, salt, and ½ cup of the olive oil in a blender and mix well until it becomes very thin and creamy. Add the basil and blend again; add the cheese and remaining oil. Blend for an additional 10 seconds. If you prefer a smoother pesto, add 1-2 Tablespoons of water and mix well.

To Assemble and Serve:
Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.

Remove the lasagna from the refrigerator. Cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water for 3 minutes; strain. Place 1 Tablespoon of pesto on each oven-proof serving plate. Place 1 piece of lasagna on top of the pesto. Continue to layer the remaining pesto and lasagna, finishing with pesto as the top layer. Sprinkle the top of each dish with shaved parmesan cheese; place dishes in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Garnish with an edible orchid, and serve immediately.

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  •    Published: March 2006
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