I always heard about children who turn up their noses at green food, who throw a tantrum at it or, simply, who refuse to eat it. This behavior doesn't belong to me, since I ate broccoli and green beans when I still wore diapers.
But I saw with my own eyes that even the most reluctant human being (not only children, but also adults more whimsical than usual) to contact with vegetables can't resist the charm of lasagna (like the charm of pizza or sauce). After all, who can say no to a pesto, potatoes and green beans lasagna?! A pleasure for the eyes (a blaze of green) and for the palate!
Whit this recipe I hope to give my contribution to the campaigne against the closure of Neurophysiology department of Santa Lucia foundation in Rome, a campaigne launched by Caris (aka "cookingplanner"), foodblogger and Albertino-mimì's mom, who is seeking support of everyone to gather recipes and to give greater visibility to this issue, which perhaps didn't have the space it deserved.
My contribution, as mentioned, is very small, but I hope that it will help to highlight this situation, to increase media attention and pressure, so that children treated in this department can continue acting up for the lack of will to go to the hospital, and so that they can stamp their feet (I acted up like this, when I was a little girl) when they don't want to eat green food… but you'll see: they'll shovel this lasagna into their mouths!
PESTO, POTATOES AND GREEN BEANS LASAGNA
Ingredients (for 4 people/single course; otherwise, for 6 people)
* 40g flour
* 40g butter
* 500ml milk
* about half pack of lasagna sheets
* 500g green beans
* 3 little-medium potatoes
* 150g pesto (plus a spoon to sauté vegetables) – I used some Ligurian ready-made pesto, because basil it's not seasonal, yet
* a clove of garlic
* grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
* extra-virgin olive oil
First of all, peal and clean the vegetables (peal the potatoes and clean the green beans… but maybe you already knew that!), then dice them (not too small, IMHO) and boil them, but keep them slightly underdone. Then pan-fry the vegetables with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, a clove of garlic and, if you want, a spoon of pesto (so the vegetables can become tasty), and add salt consequently.
Now prepare the béchamel: warm up the milk in a pot, while in a thick-bottomed pot you melt the butter then, mixing with a whisk, add the flour, rosting them together for a minute. Then, pour the warm milk to the butter-flour compound and continue mixing with the whisk (so it won't lump), until the béchamel will be creamy. Let the béchamel cool down, then add the pesto, so you'll have a green béchamel (if you want to use ready-made béchamel, simply add to it some pesto).
Now boil for a minute or two the lasagna sheets and let them dry on a clean dish cloth (to boil them I used a pan full of water, in which I poured a drizzle of oil, so the sheets wouldn't stick to each other): I boiled them two by two, so I could adjust the number of sheets to cook. Usually I don't boil the lasagna sheets but, in this case, I found helpful the advice of lievitoespine: since the béchamel is creamy (not fluid like ragù), the lasagna could be too dry, but if you boil the sheets (keeping them slightly underdone), you'll bypass the problem!
Now, you can arrange the lasagna! Take a capacious oven dish, put on the bottom of it a spoon of green béchamel, and then procede in this order: lasagna sheet, green béchamel (2 to 3 spoons, accurately spread), potatoes/green beans dice (as many as you want), grated parmesan cheese (as much as you want), and continue until ingredients exhaustion. My lasagna has 3 chubby layers!
One piece of advice: complete the lasagna with a béchamel-potatoes/green beans-parmesan cheese, so that you have a nice crisp crust! Bake in a 390° F (200° C) oven for about 30 minutes!
I reccomend it, eat the lasagna pretty hot, adults and children together!