Italy is obviously known for it’s amazing pasta. However, if there is one type of pasta dish that I find the most comforting is a hot creamy pasta bake. ‘Pasta al forno’, which is how they call it in Italy can come in many forms, but my favourite is the beautiful multi layered lasagna. Here in the UK its common to eat the classic southern Italian style; tomato sauce and minced meat. However, I love creating lasagnas with all different types of fillings and this artichoke lasagna is one of my all time favourites and a total crowd pleaser.
Over the holidays, Pasta is generally eaten on Christmas day as the ‘primo’ all over Italy. So why not give your Christmas a little twist and create this wonderful creamy smoky lasagna for your family and friends this year.
- 60g flour
- 100g salted butter
- 1.2 litre Vegetable stock
- White Pepper
- 1 small onion, finely sliced
- 1 x tin 400g artichokes in water
- 2 Lemons, juice
- Handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 300g Scamorza, diced
- 80g Parmesan, grated
- 100g Speck, sliced and roughly chopped (optional)
Step by Step – for 6 people
- Pre-heat oven 200c
- First of all make the ‘Vellutata’ sauce (which is basically a bechamel sauce but using stock instead of milk). Melt the butter in a saucepan on a low heat; when melted, add in the flour & stir with a wooden spoon to make a roux. Pour half the vegetable stock & keep on stirring with the spoon. Slowly add in the rest of the stock & stir until it has developed into a creamy sauce. Season with salt & white pepper.
- In an other pan, fry the onion. When softened, add the artichokes; pour the lemon juice, parsley & cook until evaporated.
- In an oven proof dish, add two ladles of the vellutata sauce. Then add a layer of lasagna sheets, add the artichoke mix, layer of vellutata sauce, scamorza, parmesan & speck.
- Repeat the process, until all the mixture is gone. Finish with a layer of lasagna, vellutata sauce & Parmesan
- Bake in the oven 30-40 mins
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately.