So, lesson one, don’t try to make pasta for the first time on a Monday night while hungry and tired! Apart from the stretchy, odd, undercooked taste of “almost pasta” though, the flavours in this were delicious.
Lesson two? Take your wedding ring off before working with any type of dough you idiot.
Pesto is possibly my favourite thing about Italian cooking. Basil, cheese and nuts. I can’t think of three more enjoyable things, without using the word beer.
Serves 2-4, greed dependent
- Lasagne sheets
- 350g diced or minced chicken
- 350g chestnut mushrooms
- About 3 large handfuls of fresh spinach
- 60g basil
- 50g grana padano or other hard cheese, plus more for optional sprinklage
- 50g pine nuts
- A tub of ricotta
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Put your lasagne sheets in a bowl of warm water with a little salt, to soak a little until they’re needed.
Gently fry the chicken and mushrooms in a very little oil. While this is cooking, rinse the basil under cold water and pat dry.
Add half the basil to a blender along with the pine nuts, a dash of salt, and grated cheese. Add the olive oil (and a clove of garlic and a squodge of lemon if you like) and whiz it till it makes a nice paste. If it clumps up, add a tablespoon of water.
You can do all this in a pestle and mortar if you’re feeling authentic!
The chicken and mushrooms should be mostly done by now, so throw in the spinach and remaining basil until pleasantly wilted. Season and set aside.
In a bowl, mix the ricotta and pesto until it’s runny and spreadable.
In an ovenproof dish, layer the chicken and mushrooms, then lasagne sheets, then a layer of the ricotta mix. Repeat until you run out of food.
Grate over some more hard cheese and oven cook at 170c for 10-15 minutes, or until nicely browned.