Vegetarian White (Christmas) Lasagna
Updated: Dec 13, 2021
This homemade fresh lasagna with romanesco broccoli & pink peppercorn béchamel is the ultimate showstopper on your Christmas table.
Romanesco, with its pointy florets and bright colours turn into little Christmas trees for this special pasta dish. When compared to traditional cauliflower or broccoli, romanesco has a firmer texture and very delicate flavour. It pairs really well with sharp, bold flavours - capers, garlic, sharp cheeses and spices.
I incorporated pink peppercorn in the béchamel sauce because which added a such an interesting taste without being too overpowering.
The colours and shapes are perfectly Christmassy - making this the perfect centrepiece on your festive table. I made these in individual portions to keep their beautiful shape and decoration.
Make the lasagna by kneading to a stiff dough:
200g fine semolina flour
1 tbsp evo oil
A pinch of salt
Rest for 20 minutes. Then knead to a thin sheet with a rolling pin or pasta machine. Using a pastry ring cutter, cut into 14 equal discs of about 9 cm diameter and arrange on a floured surface. This will make 2 individual lasagna portions of 7 layers each. Make the pink pepper béchamel sauce by simmering on a low flame until thickened:
1 tsp crushed pink peppercorns
Salt to taste
Prepare the broccoli & assemble:
1 head of romanesco broccoli
2 tbsp evo oil
3 cloves garlic
1 heaped tbsp capers
A few pink peppercorns
A small piece of pecorino Romano cheese
80g provolone cheese, thinly sliced or cubed
1 tbsp confit garlic oil (or regular evo oil)
Salt to taste
Cut the broccoli into florets and blanch in boiling water for 1 minute. Reserve the water and set the drained broccoli aside. Reserve the nicest looking florets for decorating the plate with little Christmas trees.
Heat 2 tbsp evo oil in a pan and brown the minced garlic. Add the broccoli, capers, salt, pepper and a couple of ladles of reserved water. Sauté on medium until the broccoli are cooked through. Transfer to a blender, along with the pecorino and blend to a thick cream. Preheat the oven to 210C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Take the same pastry ring cutter you used to cut the dough and place it on the tray. Inside it, spread a small amount of béchamel to coat the bottom. Top it with 1 disc lasagna, then top the lasagna with 1 layer each of béchamel, cream of broccoli, provolone. Repeat, alternating all the layers until you've placed 7 sheets of lasagna. Top with a little béchamel and some grated pecorino. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the lasagna is soft when poked with a fork. In the meantime, heat a little garlic oil in a pan and quickly sauté the reserved florets with a little salt until warm. When the lasagna is ready, carefully place it on the plate and remove the pastry ring cutter. Then decorate with a romanesco floret, topped with a pink peppercorn. Enjoy!