Untraditional Green Lasagna — Lasagnes vertes pas traditionnelles

lasagna green spinach ricotto walnut pistachio oil

Lasagna, Ricotta and Spinach Filling, Walnuts and Arugula

“You are a spoiled brat!” P. told me as he walked into the kitchen.

“Moi ? Et pourquoi ça ?”, I responded as I swiftly turned to look at him, piquée au vif ! (annoyed by his comment)

“Look at all the kitchen gadgets that you have!” he added, with his eyes glued to the shiny attachment of my Kitchen Aid that was keeping me busy that morning.

I really do not like when he calls me a brat. I hate this word. Je déteste ce mot. But the truth is that indeed, I can see that I am spoiled. I mean, I do have to face the facts and recognize that I have a lot of trucs, machins, bidules, gadgets, in short, I have good kitchen equipment that makes my life easier when it comes to answering my spontaneous, unpredictable food whims and fantasies. One word: spoiled. If I want to make, let’s say fresh pasta, I do not have to think for too long, trying to assess whether I am too tired, or how much time I will need to complete the whole process, or even question whether I am ready to be rolling pasta dough, turning myself into a mad-looking woman, all covered in flour, with puffy cheeks, getting redder by the second as I push down on my rolling pin, back and forth, back and forth. It is a good thing that I am fit. All right, I might be exaggerating a bit as it really is not that bad. But the matter of the fact is that instead of working hard in the kitchen at making pasta, I can relax and take a bath instead. Why? I have a pasta machine, which is very convenient these days since, just dunno why, I am really into making fresh pasta: ravioli, tortellini, lasagna, you name it. It is my new thing. I thought of calling “it” the Italian phase.

Over the course of three days I have already made ravioli once, and lasagna twice. And I feel that it is only a start as I am not yet done with the enjoyment of working fresh pasta dough.

So where shall I start? With the lasagna. Unlike what you might expect, I made lasagna without any tomatoes, meat and hardly any cheese. Besides, my lasagna are hardly baked. So what is in there and how are they made, you might wonder? Let me answer. I guarantee that my lasagna still offer layers of deliciousness. And they are quick to assemble.

Les huiles et l’huile de pistache — Oils and Pistachio Oil

I always experiment with a large panel of different oils. In fact, I counted the oil bottles found in my cupboard, I come up with the number “twenty +”. I should not try to analyze what this actually means, am I obsessive, do I suffer from a collecting stuff problem or do I simply love oil. Easy. I really love oils, of all sorts: olive, almond, avocado, sunflower, hazelnut, walnut, argan, to only name a few. I always find a way to try a new oil, like pistachio oil.

I discovered pistachio oil on a trip to France last year and fell in love with it right away. Its deep green color was the first thing that attracted me but that was even before I sampled it. Impossible to resist its nutty rich fragrance. While I successfully managed to sneak a pistachio oil bottle in back from my trip, I so far did not use it often, mostly because I forgot. Thinking about the lasagna I wanted to prepare though, I suddenly remembered it and decided to use this special oil for this recipe. Pistachio oil not being commonly found — although it can online or in delicacies stores — it is perfectly all right to use hazelnut or walnut oil instead, which I typically do for this recipe do. Any nutty oil will work, so choose the one you love.

These lasagna are simple to make. Once the fresh sheets of pasta are cooked, ricotta and spinach are layered between them. They are topped with fresh arugula, oven roasted nuts and served with a nutty vinaigrette. What I actually enjoy the most about these lasagna is that along with being quick to make, they present a contrast of texture between cooked and raw food. And because they are hardly baked, they keep a fresher taste, which is one of the reasons why I simply adore this dish.

So now tell me, really, who is actually spoiled? Me or Him?

Les deux (both).

I would tend to think so.

Lasagna with Ricotta, Spinach, Walnuts and Arugula

(For 4 people)

You need:

For the Lasagna Dough:

  • 7 oz all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp water or so

For the Filling:

  • 14.5 oz ricotta cheese
  • 14.5 oz fresh spinach
  • 1 Tbsp tarragon chopped
  • 6 Tbsp chopped shallot (about 1 large shallot)
  • 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • Pistachio oil (or hazelnut or walnut)
  • Walnut (or hazelnuts), dry roasted
  • Arugula leaves
  • Salt and pepper

Steps:

  • Start by preparing your pasta dough ahead of time. If using a food processor, place the flour and salt in the bowl. Pulse and add the beaten eggs, then mix well. Add 1 Tbsp water at a time, until the dough forms a ball. Remove and work with the palm of your hand until it is elastic (a few mns). Wrap in plastic and let rest for 30 mns to 1 hour minimum.
  • Blanch the spinach in salted boiling water for 3 mns. Rinse under cold water and squeeze out the excess water. Keep.
  • Mix together the ricotta, sherry vinegar, 1 tsp pistachio oil, tarragon, shallots and season with salt and pepper. Keep.
  • To prepare the lasagna, use a pasta machine if you have one to make thin lasagna sheets (or roll by hand). Make sure to cover the dough with a towel while working as it dries quickly. Cook the precut rectangular sheets of pasta in boiling salted water for 3 to 4 mns or so. Melt some butter with some water and once cooked, place the lasagna sheets in this sauce to wait, to prevent them from sticking.
  • To assemble the lasagna, place individual pasta sheets in a dish and spread some ricotta. Add spinach. Repeat once and finish with a sheet of lasagna. Cook in a preheated oven at 400 F for about 10 mns.
  • Serve with fresh arugula and roasted nuts and some nutty vinaigrette (made of 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar and 2 Tbsp of nutty oil).
Le coin français
Lasagnes avec ricotta, épinards, noix et roquette

(Pour 4 personnes)

Ingrédients :

Pour les feuilles de lasagne :

  • 200 g de farine
  • 2 oeufs
  • 1 càc sel
  • 2 càs d’eau environ

Pour la farce :

  • 400 g de ricotta
  • 400 g d’épinards frais
  • 1 càs d’estragon, haché (ou basilic)
  • 6 càs d’échalote hachée (à peu près une grosse échalote)
  • 2 càs de vinaigre de xérès
  • Huile de pistache (ou noix, ou noisette)
  • Noix (ou noisettes), grillées à sec
  • Roquette
  • Sel et poivre

Étapes :

  • Commencez par préparer la pâte à l’avance. Si vous utilisez un robot, mettez la farine et le sel dans le bol. Pulvérisez et ajoutez les oeufs battus à la fourchette. Mélangez bien et ajoutez 1 càs d’eau, puis une autre si nécessaire, jusqu’à ce que la pâte forme une boule. Travaillez-la ensuite avec la paume de votre main jusqu’à ce qu’elle soit élastique. Enveloppez-la dans du film alimentaire et laissez reposer pendant 30 mns à 1 heure minimum.
  • Blanchissez les épinards dans de l’eau bouillante salée pendant 3 mns. Rinsez-les sous l’eau froide et pressez-les entre vos doigts pour enlever l’excès de liquide. Mettez de côté.
  • Mélangez la ricotta, le vinaigre, 1 càc d’huile de pistache, l’estragon, l’échalote et assaisonnez de sel et de poivre. Mettez de côté.
  • Pour préparer vos lasagnes, passez la pâte dans la machine ou étalez-la finement à la main. Coupez des rectangles et faites-les cuire dans de l’eau bouillante salée pendant environ 3 mns (suivez les instructions si vous en achetez des sèches ou des fraiches). Faites fondre du beurre dans un peu d’eau et une fois vos lasagnes cuites, mettez-les en attente dans cette sauce pour éviter qu’elles ne collent.
  • Pour assembler vos lasagnes, prenez un plat et déposez une feuille de lasagne individuelle au fond. Répétez autant de fois que vous avez de portions. Continuez avec une couche de ricotta, puis des épinards frais. Recommencez avec une feuille de lasagne puis de la ricotta et des épinards. Terminez avec une feuille de lasagne. Passez au four préchauffé à 200 C pendant 10 mns.
  • Sortez les lasagnes du four et transférez-les sur assiette. Placez de la roquette lavée dessus, les noix et un peu de vinaigrette (1 càs de vinaigre de xérès mélangée avec 2 càs d’huile de pistache ou de noix).
Posted in Grains, Vegetarian | 43 Comments

43 comments

  1. Fantastic!!!
    Béa, I love the way you write. Just a genuine self!
    This is a fantastic lasagna!
    Spoiled I’ve always had a problem with as I did my masters study in it. I think you’re just very lucky to have the things you enjoy and that bring you both happiness. Spoiled might be more like you just collected the things and got nothing out of them.

  2. une fois de plus, des saveurs qui m’interpellent, je note la fabuleuse idée de l’huile de pistache!

  3. It’s almost like a pasta salad… upgraded you might say! It looks really fresh, what a great idea! And I love your pictures, as usual…

  4. Bea – what a lovely hint of spring, beautiful little vignettes too. I should drag out my pasta maker.

  5. i love this ‘deconstructed’ lasagna. its such a light and fresh alternative to the heavy things we’re used to!

  6. oh i wanted to do this! i saw something like it from foodnetwork’s everyday italian the other day…minus the home-made pasta though…great bea!

  7. Pasta everyday sounds wonderful!
    I made ravioli a little while ago, but I have yet to make my own lasagna noodles.

  8. I think that P. is the one that is spoiled! Fresh ravioli and two lasagnas in one week?! I’m jealous. And I’d never call you a spoiled brat :)

  9. I don’t have a pasta machine but I have been awfully good and I think this recipe gives me the perfect alibi. I can’t imagine a better looking lasagna!

  10. tiens ça fait un bail que je n’ai pas mangé de lasagnes … mais j’avoue qu’avant de faire celles-ci, j’aurai besoin de m’en taper une bonne plâtrée de “tradtionnelle” lol
    Après, je passerai au raffinement des épinards-ricotta ;o)

  11. Bea, what a wonderful interpretation of lasagna. It looks fresh and light, almost like a summer dish. I also wholeheartedly endorse your recent Italian phase. Mine’s been dragging on for about six years now, and I hope it carries on for the rest of my existence.

  12. Salut, et bien quoi, c’est bien d’avoir des trucs machins et bidules qui nous aident en cuisine, non ??? ;-) J’attends la recette avec impatience!

    Amitiés
    Claude

  13. I use to dislike the sound of spoiled brat too…But now I find it fun to say BRAT, in a child like voice! If you make this pasta for me I promise I will never call you a brat!! :)

  14. thanks again for your beautiful photos and totally yum recipe. i absolute love love love nut oils but i haven’t tried pistacio before. i’ll have to look for it.

  15. C’est ma préférée! Je n’aime pas trop les lasagnes bolognèse mais ricotta et épinards… Miam!

  16. I just borrowed a friend’s machine last week and made tagliatelle. I’m still in awe at how easy it is! I used pretty much the same dough recipe as you but my friend uses the whole egg and skips the water. I might give that a try next time since it seems like I’m constantly accumulating egg whites in my fridge.

  17. Thank you. I agree with Rob, maybe entering a never lasting Italian phase could be a good thing. And Tanna, I also like your explanation. ;-)
    Jeff, maybe you need to get a Stylefeed for your wife to notice what you want!
    Merci à tous, encore une fois.

  18. Your blog is amazing.

    Do you make it as one lasagna and cut it into four pieces afterwards, or do you assemble each one separately?

  19. Merci, thank you all!

    Mar, these lasagna were prepared individually, so you cut the pasta sheets accordingly, depending on the number of people you serve. This recipe is for 4 people, hence cutting about 12 rectangulars.

  20. I just finished making this and was very pleased with the results! I changed it a little as I could not find pistachio oil. I used a little walnut oil mixed with sesame oil and instead of sherry vinegar, I used an orange champagne vinegar. Still, it was wonderful and my guests were very pleased. Thank you for the recipes, I try most of them!

  21. Hi… wonderful photos and killer recipe! Just made this tonight for myself and housemates. What a treat!

    I made a few adjustments and discoveries along the way:

    1. I used onion and included garlic, caramelizing them both for an “extra dimension”.
    2. I bought sheets of fresh pasta and cut them into lasagna-like strips. The first batch of pasta that I cooked folded back (stuck) onto itself and tore apart really easily. I found that dropping the pasta into the water and then removing it to a container of cold water worked out really well. Since the ingredients were all assembled and ready to use, the pasta didn’t have chance to get soggy.
    3. Made a simple balsamic vinaigrette and spooned it over the assembled lasagna/greens.

    I used ingredients picked up yesterday at our Ferry Building Farmers Market. The whole dish was made with local ingredients. My housemates aren’t really food geeks, but it added something, for me anyway, to know where and who grew my ingredients.

    Anyway, I look forward to more of your photos and recipes.

    Chow!

  22. Hi Gina, I am thrilled to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you very much for leaving your feedback!

    Scott, same thing. So pleased you spent the time letting me know about what you did with it.

    Sher, thanks a lot.

  23. GRAZIE MILLE BEA !! sei molto brava !!
    thank you a lot Bea !!
    je sors ma machine à pâte et je vais essayer tes merveilleuses lasagnes..

    bisous.. kiss.. baci..
    ANNA

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  25. For the homemade lasagna recipe, using semolina is a lot better in taste and calory wise (half the calories) than all-purpose flour. I got this recipe from Elena Faita, the owner of Quincallerie Dante in Montreal. Elena is a reference when it comes to pasta making, she gives cooking classes. Her ingredients are:
    3 cups semolina
    4 extra-large eggs
    2 tbsp olive oil + a little additional oil
    4 tbsp water (or as needed)

    Try it, you will taste the difference.

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