About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Lasagne with Artichokes | Main | Cannelloni with Meat Stuffing »

Lasagna with Ricotta Pesto

Generally when one thinks of lasagna one pictures a heavenly pan of baked pasta, sauce, cheese, and meat bubbling away. As with many Italian dishes, significant regional variations exist. In some areas, the sauce is likely to be a simple tomato sauce or a ragù; in others, a Béchamel sauce. Ingredients may include meatballs, sausage and sliced hard-boiled eggs.

With this in mind I started to read Marcella's recipe for Lasagna with Ricotta Pesto. I was quick to learn that my image of lasagna was due to be expanded . . . not the first time this has happened during this cooking challenge! Mind you, as long as it is only my mind that is expanding and not my stomach I guess I won't complain!

This is a dish that is common to the Italian Riviera - that narrow strip of land hugging the coast and stretching from La Spezia to the French border. This lasagna is only boiled - not baked. It doesn’t have any additional cheese, meat, or tomato sauce.

In Genoa this dish is called piccagge which translates roughly into napkin or dish cloth. Essentially that is what it is - layers of cooked lasagna noodles with a wonderful ricotta pesto spread between them. I followed Marcella's machine pasta recipe from page 130 and made her ricotta pesto recipe from p. 178 (although I may have been a tad more liberal with the olive oil than Marcella suggested in the recipe). Once the pesto was made and the noodles cooked the actually dish was on the table in about 5 minutes - a far cry from the half day marathon that is needed to make a lasagna in the Bolognese manner.

All in all this was the easiest lasagna I have ever made. The presentation was impressive and the taste was fresh and light! I know that when my basil is out of control this summer we will be enjoying this dish over and over again!

Comments (5)

Jerry, this looks oh so beautiful. The first thing that came to mind when seeing your photo was Liguria! It looks like Liguria on a plate!

Sounds wonderful and simple to make. Good job, Jerry!

Isn't it gorgeous. I remember the first time I saw this in Portofino. It wasn't what Steve THOUGHT he had ordered, but it sure was good!

Marcella Hazan:

I am glad the blog doctor fixed this.

Your piccagge look terrific, Jerry. I do think you have used a little too much oil and too much sauce on the pasta. When making Ligurian recipes remember that this is a people who have always been known for their incurable stinginess, and the subtle balance of their dishes is, to a degree, a result of that stinginess, of holding back.

I shall be far more stingy next time Marcella! *smile* I confess that that isn't an emotion/feeling/bahaviour that I do well!

Your comment made me smile Palma - I thought the same thing when I went to pull it all together . . . it would be a shock to order this in a restaurant if you didn't know what you were getting yourself into!

Thanks Susie - one of these days i'll do more in Luguria than drive through!

Simple it is Nancy - VERY simple! Perfect for ME!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 17, 2010 2:21 PM.

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