Artichoke and pancetta lasagne

    1 hour 20 min

    This tasty lasagne filled with fresh artichokes, pancetta and bechamel sauce is a typical Italian dish for a spring Sunday lunch. Very popular as an Easter meal, as well.

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    Serves: 6 

    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • 500g fresh artichoke hearts, thinly sliced
    • 120ml white wine
    • 1 teaspoon dried dill
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 200g pancetta or bacon, cubed
    • 300g fresh or dried lasagna sheets (12 sheets)
    • 200g grated Parmesan cheese
    • For the bechamel
    • 60g butter
    • 60g plain flour
    • 800ml milk
    • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
    • salt and pepper, to taste

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:1hr  ›  Ready in:1hr20min 

      Prepare bechamel:

    1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour and whisk to prevent lumps. Cook for 5 minutes, then whisk in a little of the milk at a time, stirring continuously until you have a smooth, thick sauce. Remove from the heat; season with salt and nutmeg and cover. Keep warm and set aside.
    2. Cook artichokes and pancetta:

    3. In a large pan over medium heat, cook garlic in oil until just golden. Stir in artichokes, coat in oil and cook 5 minutes. Increase heat, pour in the wine and simmer till the alcohol had evaporated. Reduce heat to medium and cook artichokes for 15 minutes, or until tender. Season with salt and dill. Remove from heat and keep warm.
    4. Meanwhile, place the pancetta in a hot frying pan over medium high heat. Pan-fry until the bacon is crisp, about 10 minutes.
    5. Assemble and bake lasagne:

    6. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Cook fresh lasagne sheets in boiling water for 1 minute, or 6 minutes for dried sheets. Drain and rinse with cold water. Transfer onto a clean towel, one sheet next to the other, and pat dry with kitchen paper.
    7. Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
    8. Spread 2 ladlefuls of bechamel in the bottom of a 22x33cm (9x13 in) baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagne sheets over bechamel and cover with another ladleful of bechamel. Top with 1/3 of the artichokes and 1/3 of the pancetta. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the grated Parmesan cheese.
    9. Repeat layers, alternating bechamel, artichokes, pancetta and Parmesan. Finish with a fourth and last layer of lasagne sheets, topped with bechamel and a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese.
    10. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. In the last 5 minutes, grill the top of the lasagne until bubbly and golden brown.
    11. Remove from oven let stand 10 minutes before serving.

    Make ahead

    Lasagne is perfect prepared several hours in advance and reheated. Simply cool to room temperature after baking, and cover with aluminium foil. Then when it's time to serve, reheat in the oven for 15 minutes.

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