Once you’ve tried Faella’s lasagna sheets there’s no going back. With the real flavor of Italian durum wheat, their texture is like none other. They offer a firm mouthfeel that reminds you that lasagna is first and foremost a pasta dish. Yes, they need a little more care than their industrial, tasteless counterparts. But the extra effort is well worth it, New York Times food critic Florence Fabricant says so! All you really have to do is precook them for five minutes in boiling water.
This vegetarian lasagna is full of cozy fall flavors. We’re using one of Mariangela Montanari’s secret weapons: agrodolce onions. They’re an excellent complement to bitter radicchio and savory pumpkin!
TIME: 3 hours
- Large red onions, 2 (about 400g / 14oz), thinly sliced
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as needed
- Fine Sea Salt, to taste
- Balsamic Saba 3, 2 tbsp
- Pumpkin or squash, 600-900g / 1.5-2 lbs, peeled and cut into small cubes
- Radicchio, 1 head (about 340g / 12oz), sliced
- Butter, 5 tbsp
- Maiorca flour, 5 tbsp
- Whole milk, 5 cups
- Pepper, to taste
- Faella Lasagna, 1/2 bag (500g / 1.1 lbs)
- Coarse Sea Salt, t0 taste
- Fontina Cheese or similar, about 450g / 1 lb, coarsely grated
- Vacche Rosse Cheese, about 170g / 6 oz, finely grated
- Begin by making the agrodolce onions. Heat 2 tbsp of extra virign olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sliced red onions and a pinch of salt, stirring to coat in the oil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until completely softened, about 30 minutes, stirring as needed. Once the onions are soft, raise the heat to medium and add the Balsamic Saba 3. Continue cooking for 5 minutes until the balsamic reduces and caramelizes. Turn off the heat and set aside until needed.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Toss the cubed squash with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of fine sea salt. Place them on a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through to help them cook evenly.
- Likewise, toss the radicchio with olive oil and a pinch of salt and put on a separate baking sheet. Roast for 7-10 minutes until lightly charred.
- To make the béchamel, heat the milk in a microwave or in a small saucepan. You don’t want it to be too cold when you start adding it in! Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a few minutes, ensuring the flour doesn’t burn. Gradually whisk in the warmed milk. Cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or so, until the mixture thickens a bit and coats the back of a spoon. Taste and season with fine sea salt and white pepper. Make sure you don’t overcook your béchamel! Faella lasagna will absorb a great amount of sauce, so you don’t want your béchamel to be too thick.
- Time to precook the lasagna sheets. Bring a large pot water to a boil, seasoned with coarse sea salt. Cover a large section of your countertop or kitchen table with baking paper. This is where you’ll lay out your pre-cooked lasagna sheets. This way, you can be certain they won’t stick together. Working in batches, parboil the lasagna sheets for five minutes. Using tongs, so you can reuse the cooking water, remove them and lay them out on the baking paper.
- Assemble your lasagna. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Start with a layer of béchamel on the bottom of a 9×11 inch (23×28 cm) casserole dish or lasagna pan. Next, place a layer of lasagna sheets. You can use scissors to cut them to the exact size of your pan. Cover the pasta with another layer of béchamel, then dot with 1/3 of the agrodolce onions, roasted squash cubes and roasted radicchio. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the Fontina and Vacche Rosse cheese. Create two more layers in the same manner: pasta, béchamel, vegetables, cheese. Top the final layer of pasta with the remaining béchamel and cheese.
- Cover your casserole with foil to keep the moisture in and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover, discard the foil, and broil for 5 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Allow to rest at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.