Friday, April 15, 2011

Caprese Lasagna

I make this a lot in the summer, when I can walk out back and pick the tomatoes and basil.  Well, the basil anyway.  Last year our weather kinda did a number on the tomatoes ripening.  But it's just as good anytime of year - even when the store-bought tomatoes don't have a whole heck of a lot of flavor.  The recipe originally came from Rachel Ray and a girlfriend of mine made it for me the first time.  Since then, we've both adapted the recipe to suit our own tastes.

Here's my version:

4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 C milk
Salt and pepper
Mozzarella, grated or Fresh mozzarella, sliced
Parmesan, grated
Fresh tomatoes, sliced
Fresh basil leaves
No-boil or Traditional lasagna noodles

If you're using traditional noodles, boil them for the time indicated on the box.  Or, if you're lazy looking to skip steps like me, just lay them out in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and pour hot tap water over them.  Let them soak while you prepare the rest.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Use your super fabulous kitchen tool, that I raved about here, to mince your garlic and add it to the pan.  Cook and stir until fragrant. 

Add the flour and whisk to combine.  Continue whisking for a minute or so. 

Gradually whisk in milk.  Bring to a boil, whisking constantly (or if you're like me and can't just stand there staring at the pot while you wait for it to boil, make sure you don't let the milk stick to the bottom of the pan and burn); cook and stir until slightly thickened, 3 or 4 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Remove from heat.

Put a layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  (Or use whatever size you have and cut the noodles to fit.)  Put an even layer of noodles in the bottom and add more sauce (a ladle or two).

Put an even layer of tomatoes, sprinkle with cheeses and basil. 

Lather, rinse, repeat.  (Alternating the direction of the noodles in each layer helps keep it together when it comes time to cut into it.)  Keep going with noodles, sauce, tomatoes, cheese, and basil until you run out of goodies.  Pour remaining sauce over entire dish.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350.  (If your final layer is at the top edge of your baking dish, either lay a piece of parchment paper on top first or spray your foil with non-stick cooking spray.  Otherwise, all that yummy cheese will become one with the foil.)  Remove foil and cook another 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and browned.  As tempting as it will be to cut right into it, if you're trying to impress someone with your skills, let it set for at least 15 minutes so that you can get nice square pieces out, instead of a big sloppy mess.  If you're eating alone, just dig in with a fork.  I'll never tell.

The Dad was feeling a little left out of Fun Food he decided to rearrange the basil accordingly:

We had it with a green salad (don't judge the iceberg - it's a long story) and again, my drug of choice, bread.  And a glass of red wine, of course.  It is pasta after all!  

Here it is on my plate:


  1. Mindy - This looks delicious! We're trying to make have two vegetarian dishes a week so I'm definitely trying this!

  2. Oh good, I hope you like it!


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