Sunday, May 12, 2013

Pesto Lasagna

As promised in an earlier post, here is the Pesto Lasagna recipe.  This recipe was given to me by my friend Daniella.  Last May during a two week trip to Italy, which started in the Cinque Terre, a friend and I spent the day with a stranger who soon became a friend.  Daniella graciously welcomed us into her home and taught us how to make some of the local specialties.  We had a wonderful day and left fully stuffed with wonderful food.  We had a great time with during our "girls" afternoon in the kitchen, which by the way was a terrace kitchen with a view to die for!

If you are considering an Italian vacation and are planning on spending time in Cinque Terre, carve out a day to spend in Monterosso and take a day's worth of cooking lessons with Daniella.  You will have a fabulous time.  Contact me if you are interested in her cooking class and/or dinner and I will gladly put you in touch.

This post continues my walk down memory lane. Dinner tonight will include Lasagna al Pesto, or Pesto Lasagna.   Here is my adaptation of Daniella's recipe.

Pesto Lasagna


2 boxes of Barilla No Boil Lasagna Noodles
One Recipe of Pesto, thinned with a little water.
3 cups whole milk, scalded, but not boiling
5 Tbs. butter
4 Tbs. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
dash of nutmeg
1 cup grated parmigiano


Make the bechamel by heating the milk in a pan until hot, but not boiling. (I microwaved mine in a glass Pyrex measuring cup for 4 minutes on high)
In a separate pot, melt the butter.  Once melted add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon for two minutes so that the flour is cooked.
Add 1/2 cup of the hot milk, stirring constantly.  Stir, Stir, Stir.  It will seize up and look a mess, but don't panic, it will smooth back out.

Continue to add the hot milk 1/2 cup at a time until all the milk is is incorporated, continuing to stir constantly.  Continue to heat and stir until the mixture is smooth and thickened.

Add the salt and dash of nutmeg and stir to incorporate.
Remove the white sauce from the heat.

In a buttered 9x13 pan, smear a couple of tablespoons of the bechamel sauce.
On top of the sauce, place a layer of noodles, breaking them as necessary to fit the pan.
Add a thin layer of pesto (water this down so it is easily spreadable).  Sprinkle the pesto with parmigiano.

Add a layer of noodles and top it with a generous layer of the bechamel.

Continue making 6 layers in the same way ending with pesto and parmigiano.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 20 minutes.  Let sit 15 minutes before serving.

Don checking out the dinner menuu!

Add some sauteed yellow squash and zucchini and onions and you've got a meal!

.....and that's What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!


  1. Hi Cathy,

    I will be in the Cinque Terre region next month and would love to set up a some time cooking with Daniella! Would you please pass along her contact information? Many thanks!

    1. Kylee, please email me at and I'll be happy to provide Daniella's contact information privately.

  2. Hi! Found this post through browsing for cooking classes in Monterosso. Would you be able to provide me with contact details for Daniella please? My email Best regards Martha


About Me

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My career is in IT.  Cooking and photography are among a few of my hobbies. In my spare time, which is most weekends I tie on my apron and exercise my creativity by trying new recipes and adapting them to my tastes. I also have a passion for photography that I incorporate by taking photographs to go along with the recipes I post on my blog.  
I also enjoy travel, both near and abroad. Meeting new people, new experiences and cultures and oh, not to mention the food! I hope you enjoy my blog.