Is there anything better than a homemade Lasagna made with classic pesto and béchamel sauce, veggie filling, homemade sheets, and lots of cheese? No, I don’t think so!
Lasagna is one of the oldest forms of pasta, where thin sheets of pasta are layered with various sauces like ragu, béchamel, or pesto and filled with meat or veggies. And, of course, there is cheese as well.
One of my favorite dishes to make for any potluck day is this super delicious and filling Lasagna recipe. It’s wholesome as it has multiple layers of homemade Lasagna sheets, classic pesto sauce, and white sauce. There are numerous veggies, and then there is everyone’s favorite cheese! I simply can’t resist this dish!
Hearing the elements may sound like a bit of a task, but trust me, it’s worth every effort. The lasagna is so delicious and filling that you will never eat one outside. It’s a perfect dish for a gathering where everyone can just dig into it.
Cafe Style Pesto Lasagna Video Tutorial
Why You’ll Love This Recipe?
- Made From Scratch: Every element of the lasagna is made from scratch. Yes, even the sheets will be prepared at home, with two types of sauces and various veggie filling. No market-bought sheets or cans of sauce will be used in the recipe.
- Wholesome: The lasagna is quite wholesome. You can make it for dinner or any gathering, especially potluck. This Italian dish will be a hit amongst all.
- Delicious: Not every Lasagna you eat will be good. People can easily mess up this dish. Either the sheets are too thick or undercooked, or the dish becomes dry when over-baked. Or the cheese got burnt from the top. However, if you follow this recipe to the T, you will get the perfect and delicious Lasagna every time you make one.
Important Ingredients Used In The Recipe
- Basil Leaves: The pesto sauce has the main ingredient of basil leaves. They must be fresh to get the best authentic flavor.
- Walnuts: To give the pesto sauce a nutty and chunky flavor and texture, walnuts are ground along with the other ingredients. It really uplifts the sauce.
- Parmesan Cheese: Pesto sauce is incomplete without parmesan cheese. The cheesy flavor in the sauce is maintained by parmesan rather than mozzarella.
- Mozzarella Cheese: The lasagna is loaded with mozzarella cheese while layering. It’s used in the filling and the top for the ultimate cheesy flavor.
- Veggies: We are making a vegetarian-friendly Lasagna, that’s why many veggies like bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, corn, onion, garlic, etc., are used as filling in place of any meat.
- Seasonings: Salt, black pepper, and rosemary are the seasonings used in various elements, without which the dish won’t taste as good as it does.
How To Make Cafe Style Pesto Lasagna
Preparation: The dish has many elements, so gather all the ingredients needed and measure them precisely, as mentioned in the recipe card below.
Method For Pasta Sheets
Make Dough: Take all-purpose flour and salt in a bowl. Add oil and knead by adding water gradually. Combine the dough and knead well till you get a soft texture.
Rest The Dough: Cling-wrap the bowl with dough in it and let it rest for 20-25 minutes.
Shaping: After resting the dough, knead it again for a minute and divide it into four equal parts. Use a digital weighing scale to measure the exact weight of all four portions. Dust some flour on a work surface and roll one piece of the dough using a rolling pin until it gets translucent. Cut 2-3 equal-shaped rectangular sheets using a pizza cutter. Repeat the process with the rest of the three portions.
Rest The Sheets: Take a baking tray and dust some flour on it. Place the sheets on the baking tray. Now dust flour on the sheets and place more sheets one over the other. Dusting flour will prevent the sheets from sticking to each other. Let the sheets rest overnight.
Boil Sheets: Next day, take water and salt in a wide saucepan. Put this for boiling. Once the water gets hot, add the sheets a few at a time and boil them for 1-2 minutes. Boil all the sheets. And transfer them in a tray.
Method For Pesto Sauce
Blend Basil and Garlic: Take fresh basil leaves and garlic cloves in a blender jar. Coarsely grind them.
Add Seasoning and Oil: Add salt, black pepper, and olive oil to the basil garlic paste to make a smooth sauce.
Add Remaining Ingredients: Lastly, add the walnuts, parmesan cheese, and lemon juice. Blend again to get a fine paste.
Method For White Sauce
Boil Milk: In a pan, boil the milk.
Add Onion, Bay Leaf, and Clove: Add onion studded with bay leaf and clove in the boiled milk. Take half the onion and cover it with one bay leaf. Stick the bay leaf using cloves on both ends. Boil milk again. Transfer it to a bowl, removing the onion.
Make Roux: In a pan, melt butter and add the flour. Mix the two, making sure no flour lumps are there. Cook until you get some aroma. Gradually add the milk into this and whisk continuously. Cook until it gets a little thick.
Add Seasoning: Add the salt and pepper for flavor once the milk is combined.
Method For Filling
Prep The Veggies: Dice all three green, red, and yellow bell peppers. Roughly chop some garlic, mushrooms, and broccoli as well.
Saute Veggies: Heat some oil in a pan and add chopped garlic to it. Add all the bell peppers and cook it for about a minute. Add the remaining veggies and saute everything for a few minutes.
Add Seasoning: Lastly, add salt, pepper and dried rosemary. Stir well.
Add Veggies To White Sauce: Once the veggies are sautéed. Add them to the white sauce prepared earlier. Give it a nice mix.
Method For Assembly
Bottom Layer: Take a square glassware and spread some pesto sauce at the bottom of the dish.
Add Sheets: Place 2-3 Lasagna sheets over the pesto sauce. The sauce must be covered with the sheets, so you need to add sheets as per the size of the dish you have taken.
Add pesto sauce: Again, add a layer of pesto sauce over the sheets and cover the sauce with more Lasagna sheets.
Add White Sauce Filling: Now, spread the prepared white sauce veggie filling over the sheets.
Add Mozzarella Cheese: Cover the filling with grated mozzarella cheese. Do not hesitate to add more.
Repeat the Same Process: Add another layer of sheets and pesto sauce twice, then the white sauce filling, and finally the top with mozzarella cheese.
Bake: Put this for baking in a preheated oven at 200c (OTG mode: upper rod + lower rod + fan) for 25-30 minutes or until you get a golden brown color on top.
Garnish: Garnish the top with Chopped cherry tomatoes and basil leaves once baked.
Chef’s Tips For The Recipe
Roll The Sheets Thin.
It’s important that you roll the lasagna sheets thin. This is because if rolled thick, they won’t taste good when eaten and will be chewy as well.
Do Not Boil Sheets For Long.
We need the sheets to be al-dante. They don’t need to be boiled for long as they will also get cooked during baking.
Dusting Flour When Shaping Sheets.
You can be a bit generous while spreading flour when rolling and resting the sheets. We do not want them to stick to one another when rested overnight.
How To Store Pesto Lasagna
Once baked, the lasagna must be served immediately for the best-tasting experience.
Leftover Lasagna must be refrigerated cling-wrapped from the top or transferred in an airtight box. It can consumed within 2-3 days.
You can even freeze the lasagna for extended shelf life. However, you will need to thaw and reheat it before eating.
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Frequently Asked Questions
I would recommend making the sheets as and when needed. The fresh pasta sheets cannot be stored in the refrigerator for more than 1-2 days.
Yes, you can add semi-cooked meat like beef or mutton in the lasagna. Semi-cooked because it will also get cooked during the baking process. mode: lower rod only) for 12-15 minutes.
Yes, the taste is up to you. If you want, you can simply replace the pesto sauce layer with a red sauce layer.
If you see that the cheese is getting brown too fast and you still have some good time left for baking, then loosely cover the top with aluminium foil to prevent the cheese from getting black.
Lasagna Sheets Dough
- 210 g Flour
- 26 g Oil
- 1 pinch Salt
- 100 ml Water (as required)
- 60 g Basil Leaves
- 10 g Garlic
- 4 g Salt
- 2 g Black Pepper
- 30 g Parmesan cheese
- 20 g Walnuts
- 70 g Olive Oil
- 10 – 12 drops Lemon Juice
- 25 g Flour
- 25 g Butter
- Salt, as required
- Black Pepper, as required
- 500 ml Milk
- ½ piece Onion
- 2 nos. Cloves
- 1 no. Bay leaf
- 100 g Red bell pepper
- 100 g Yellow bell pepper
- 100 g Green bell pepper
- 120 g Mushrooms
- 4 – 5 flowers Broccoli
- 80 g Corns
- 4 cloves Garlic (chopped)
- 2 tbsp Oil
- 2 tsp Rosemary
- Salt & pepper, as required
- 200 – 250 g Mozzarella cheese
- 2 – 3 Cherry tomatoes
- 2 – 3 Basil leaves
For Lasagna Sheets Dough
- In a bowl, take flour and add salt to it. Add in the oil as well and mix it.
- Now start adding water in batches to make a soft dough. Knead for 5 minutes.
- Cover and rest the dough for 20-25 minutes.
- After resting, knead a little to make a smooth dough. Divide the dough into four equal parts.
- Take 1 part and keep others covered. Now dust flour on the working surface and start rolling the ball into a thin sheet until translucent.
- Cut two even rectangular sheets from this. Repeat the process with the other three parts as well. You will get 8-9 sheets.
- Now dust a baking tray with flour and place lasagna sheets on it. Dust more flour over the sheets and keep them to rest overnight
- To cook the sheets the next day, boil water in a saucepan. Once the water starts boiling, put the sheets (a few at a time) and boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from water once cooked.
For Pesto Sauce
- In a blender jar, take fresh basil leaves and garlic and give it a coarse blend.
- Now add Salt, pepper, and olive oil and blend it till a smooth paste is formed.
- Lastly, add parmesan cheese, walnuts, and lemon juice and blend it for 5-6 seconds until smooth.
For White Sauce
- In a saucepan, take milk along with onion studded with clove and bay leaf. Let the milk boil. Now remove it from heat and keep it aside.
- In another saucepan, take butter and melt it. Add flour and mix.
- Now add strained milk to the roux and mix.
- Combine it well, making sure no lumps are left. Cook till the sauce thickens.
- Add in the salt and pepper for seasoning.
For Veggie Filling
- Chop all the veggies into cubes.
- In a saucepan, take oil and heat. Add in the garlic and sauté.
- Now, add in all three bell peppers and cook for a minute. Next, add in the remaining veggies and sauté.
- Lastly, season the veggies with salt, pepper, and rosemary.
- Mix the veggies with the white sauce made earlier.
- Take a glass square dish that is safe for baking.
- Put a layer of pesto sauce in the dish first, followed by 2 or 3 lasagna sheets covering the sauce.
- Now again, spread pesto sauce over the sheets. Spread the white sauce and veggie mixture and put some cheese over this.
- Place lasagna sheets and repeat the same process.
- In the top layer, cover the top with a veggie-white sauce mixture and a layer of mozzarella cheese.
- Bake the lasagna in a preheated oven at 200°C (OTG MODE: upper rod + lower rod + fan) for 25-30 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.
- Garnish the dish with cherry tomatoes and basil leaves once baked.
- Prep Time: 70 to 80 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes