Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Honey Drizzled Lasagna

Pasticcio Bianco alla Rezdora
A few weeks ago my menu plan included some recipes from my new "Italian" Cookbook and this was one of them. I actually ended up pushing it off for more than a week due to illness in the family and finding time to make the mascarpone. You might find this odd, but I am not a huge fan of cookbooks. Rarely do I find a cookbook that I enjoy perusing. This book, however, was of the style that I enjoy - it has traditional recipes that you are not likely to find in too many other places and it is speckled with wonderful stories from the author who visited the various regions in Italy where the recipes have come from.

The Italian is translated as, Baked Pasta in the Manner of the Lady of the House. What a fun name! It kind of makes me think that I could invent or create my own pasta dish that becomes "my signature dish" to be served to guests when they visit. And although I briefly thought about making my own pasta (as called for in the recipe) I also picked up a box of "No Boil Lasagna Noodles" - I believe they were Barilla brand, the flat thin ones that most resemble homemade pasta. As I do not have a pasta maker, I opted for the store bought version this time, but when I have a bit more time on my hands I will likely try to make my own. We have made cavatelli by hand, it's Ryan's family's pasta from the region of Italy that his grandfather's family originated from and it is quite the undertaking. My mother-in-law called it a "labor of love," she has a cavatelli maker. Anyway, back to this recipe. When I served the lasagna I vaguely remembered reading something about serving it with a drizzle of honey. I thought it odd, but why not give it a try. Boy am I glad I did, it was a spectacular finish to this unique dish.

With all the different cheeses in this recipe, it can get a bit expensive. However, I found that making the mascarpone was not difficult at all. It did take a bit more time than I anticipated for my cream to reach the proper temperature, but other than that a bit of prep (say 45 minutes) can save you some money. Although the recipe calls for 2 cups of mascarpone and making it yourself will yield 12 oz, this was plenty. You could also make the ricotta, but it won't save you as much money as making the mascarpone.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays over at Kelly the Kitchen Kop's site. Check it out for more great Real Food recipes.

Creamy Honey Drizzled Walnut Lasagna


  • 1 pound Freshly Rolled Pasta (or 1 box flat no boil lasagna noodles)
  • 1 Tablespoon Sweet Butter
  • 1 1/3 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 cups Mascarpone (or 2 cups heavy cream + 1 T lemon juice)
  • 2 cups Ricotta
  • 2 1/2 cups just-grated Parmigiano
  • 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 Generous scrapings of fresh nutmeg
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 3 cups Walnuts, soaked and toasted/dried, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Bread Crumbs, made from stale bread
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey


  1. For fresh pasta, cook in salted boiling water for about a minute. Remove the pasta with a slotted spoon and place on a clean towel, do not place on top of each other (or they will stick together). For no boil pasta, if your cheese mixture is quite runny and you plan on letting it sit in the fridge for awhile, the bottom noodles could be used as is. However, I would recommend boiling some (or all if using immediately) of the noodles until pliable.
  2. Butter your baking dish(es). I used two 9x7x2.5 inch casserole dishes, making one for our family and one for a friend. Or you could use one large 10x13 baking dish. Pour about 1/3 cup of heavy cream onto the bottom of the baking dish.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine mascarpone, ricotta, 1 cup of heavy cream, 2 cups of Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, eggs and vinegar. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Place pasta rectangles on top of the thin layer of heavy cream to cover the pan, but do not overlap. On top of the pasta, spread a layer of the cheese mixture. Next add a layer of chopped walnuts. Cover the nuts with pasta and repeat with cheese mixture and walnuts. Continue this layering process until you have used up all the cheese and nuts. Finish with a layer of pasta.
  5. The lasagna can be covered with plastic wrap and left to rest in a cool place for an hour or two or in the refrigerator for longer.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Tear the bread into small pieces and process in a food processor until fine crumbs appear. Mix half a cup of crumbs with the remaining half a cup of grated Parmesan and sprinkle over the lasagna. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden. Allow lasagna to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Drizzle individual pieces with a bit of honey.
Prep Time: 45 min Cook Time: 30 min Ready in: 1 h 15 min
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Creamy Honey Drizzled Walnut Lasagna courtesy of Jamie Del Balso.

Did you like this recipe? Find more authentic Italian recipes in this wonderful cookbook.

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