Radicchio, gorgonzola + walnut break-up lasagne

Radicchio, gorgonzola + walnut break-up lasagne

By
From
A Lot on Her Plate
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

Despite being meat-free, this vegetarian lasagne is serious comfort food. I fed it to one of my closest friends on the night of her break-up and it seemed to work wonders for her battered spirit, along with a few generous glasses of red wine. Bitter radicchio and creamy, salty Gorgonzola are often found together with walnuts in a salad and they really harmonise into something special when cooked together. You can make a wonderful meaty version by replacing the wilted radicchio with speck or prosciutto, or a pork and beef ragu, but this one’s for the veggies. Pair it with a simple salad of peppery leaves and tomatoes dressed with good-quality olive oil and red wine vinegar.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
50g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
40g plain flour
600ml whole milk
nutmeg, for grating
200g gorgonzola, diced
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
2 large heads radicchio, hard white cores removed, leaves washed and dried
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
80g walnuts, crumbled slightly
dried lasagne egg pasta
150g mozzarella, grated
20g parmesan, grated

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a large baking dish. Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan over a medium heat, then add the flour and cook, stirring, for a minute or so, until the roux is starting to bubble. Turn the heat down and add the milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly until it’s amalgamated and smooth. Use a whisk to whisk out any lumps. Once you have a smooth sauce, cook it for about 10 minutes, whisking while it thickens. Add a good grating of nutmeg, a generous grind of black pepper and then add the Gorgonzola. Melt it over the heat for a couple of minutes, whisking, until you have a smooth, creamy béchamel. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan and add the radicchio leaves (depending on the size of your pan, you may need to work in batches). Grind over some pepper, add the lemon juice, and cook it for 3–4 minutes, until slightly wilted. Transfer to a mixing bowl and toss with the parsley.
  3. Lay some of the wilted radicchio and parsley on the base of the greased baking dish, scatter over some of the walnuts, and top with some of the Gorgonzola béchamel. Lay pasta sheets on top until entirely covering the radicchio and repeat the process with the remaining ingredients for 2 more layers. Top the last layer of pasta with mozzarella and Parmesan, and bake in the oven for 30–40 minutes, until golden on top, and the béchamel is bubbling up the sides of the dish. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes and then serve.
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