lasagna con rapini
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The Lasagna with Rapini



The lasagna con rapini is an all vegetable lasagna with a strong and different taste, thanks to the rapini. The rapini is a common vegetable in Chinese cuisine, Italian and Galician. It looks like the Chinese broccoli, but it tastes much more bitter. It has many pointy leaves that surround a green bud which is very similar to a small head of broccoli. Its taste is similar to the nut, bitter and pungent..





Ingredients:

2 pounds Rapini
3 large Eggs (separate them so you have 1 yolk and 3 whites)
1/2 Cup of Breadcrumbs
1/2 Cup Extra-virgin Olive oil
1/4 Cup partly skimmed Milk
1 Cup Ricotta cheese
1/2 Cup greek Feta Cheese
1/4 teaspoon dried Oregano
1/4 teaspoon fresh Thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 pinch or 2 Nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground Pepper
1/2 Cup salted Butter
4 Cups Bechamel sauce (good bechamel recipe here)

500g (16 oz) lasagna pasta, boiled for 8 minutes and set aside

Part I: Preparing the rapini:

Wash the rapini gently and thoroughly. In a medium skillet, saute the rapini in 2 tablespoons of the oil for 5 minutes.
Right after saute-ing the rapini, place the skillet in a larger skillet of cold water to stop it from cooking more.
When the rapini is cooler strain out as much water as you can. Chop it finely with a good knife,
or process just a bit it in the food processor, pulsing until it is finely chopped but not going as far as puree.

Part II: Preparing the lasagna rapini sauce

Place the chopped rapini in a large enough bowl. Mix in the feta, ricotta,  oregano, thyme, nutmeg, rosemary, eggs (1 yolk and 3 whites) with the milk.
Mix completely. Add in the breadcrumbs, still mixing until the recipe seems even, then add 1/4 cup water.
Mix and reserve for 12 minutes as the bread crumbs soak in the mixed liquids.
Check the mixture's consistency after the 12 minutes, adding either water or breadcrumbs depending
if the mixture feels like it is too fluid or too dry. Now add the salt and freshly ground pepper.

While the mixture we did above is being reserved, boil the lasagna pasta in salted water as per package instructions.
Once they are cooked to an early al dente stage (not cooked 100%), strain the noodles, and as you reserve them
pour over them a tiny bit of olive oil to prevent them from sticking to one another.

Part III: Assembling the Lasagna

Pre-heat oven to 350° F.
Grease up the bottom and the sides of a large lasagna pan. Lay one layer of noodles at the bottom of the pan
and spread over it about 1/2 inch of the mixture we did in part II. Pour around 1/2 cup of the Bechamel sauce we did
over the mixture and sprinkle some of this grated parmesan cheese. Now cover this with a new layer of lasagna pasta.
Repeat the order we have just explained by laying layers of noodles, mixture and Bechamel until you reach the top;
the top layer being pasta in this recipe. Spray extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle parmesan cheese on the top layer.
Pepper the top with knobs of butter, then bake for about 40 minutes in the 350 degree pre-heated oven, or until
the cheese on top turns to a nice golden color.

As you prepare each plate, pour bechamel sauce over each individual lasagna portion.

Once baked, let the lasagna cool down for 30 minutes prior to serving.



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