Creamy Pesto Lasagna with Chicken
I refuse to give up summer. Even with everyone getting out their sweaters and ordering their pumpkin spice lattes. This pesto lasagna is good compromise. The basil along with a hint of lemon lends itself to summer. The hearty, feel of the ground chicken and cheese, makes for a cozy dinner option.
Creamy Pesto Lasagna Chicken
1lb lasagna noodles cooked according to package directions
1lb ground chicken, browned and crumbled
12 slices of fresh mozzarella
1 1/2 cup basil leaves, packed
1 1/2 cup spinach leaves, packed
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups ricotta cheese, whole milk
Squeeze of half of a fresh lemon
1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp butter, unsalted
2 tbsps flour
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Cook lasagna noodles until al dente. Boil water, and let them sit in the boiling water for about 8 minutes. Drain the noodles and sprinkle olive oil on them to help them from sticking.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don't let it brown — about 2 minutes. Add the hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Add in the Parmesan cheese and continue to stir. Set aside.
Combine basil, spinach, garlic, and Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor; season with salt and pepper, to taste. With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, lemon, pepper, salt, and ricotta. Fold in the mozzarella cheese.
In a large 9x12 baking dish spoon 3 tbsps of the pesto sauce over the bottom of the pan, as well as 3 tbsps of the bechamel sauce.
Line the bottom of the prepared baking dish with 4 cooked lasagna noodles, overlapping them.
Add a layer of the ricotta mixture on top, then sprinkle half of the ground chicken over top. Sprinkle some of the pesto over.
Cover with noodles again and repeat the process. Once you reach your last layer, pour over a cup and half of the bechamel. Make sure to saturate the edges. Add the pesto sauce over top as well.
Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Then uncover and add the pesto sauce evenly over top. Add the fresh mozzarella pieces as well. Bake another 20-25 minutes until top starts to bubble. Once removed from the oven let it sit for 15-20 minutes before serving.