Photograph by Keirnan Monaghan Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis


Stratified chard and walnut lasagna

Mains from Issue 8 – Winter 2016 – Origin

Formed 4.54 billion years ago, our fair planet Earth happens to be more equipped than any other in the solar system to support life. And just as its composition is distinctly layered—an iron and nickel inner core hotter than the sun’s surface, surrounded by an outer molten core, then an iron and magnesium-rich silicate mantle, and, the thinnest, a brittle outer crust—so too is our bubbling white lasagna stacked with béchamel, Swiss chard, and walnuts.

serves 6

  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmigiano, plus more for sprinkling
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 bunches Swiss chard, leaves chopped and stems finely chopped, separated
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 12 (7 x 3-inch) no-boil lasagna sheets (preferably with egg), about 8 oz

  • 1

    Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, then cook, whisking frequently, until pale golden, about 6 minutes. Whisk in milk in a steady stream until very smooth. Bring to a boil, whisking, then simmer, whisking, 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, nutmeg, and 2 tsp salt. Whisk about 1 cup sauce into yolks then whisk yolks back into sauce. Set aside.

  • 2

    Cook onion in oil in a large skillet over medium heat until soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, pepper flakes, and ½ tsp salt and cook 2 minutes longer. Stir in chard stems and cook until tender, about 8 minutes, then stir in leaves and cook until wilted. Stir in ¾ cup of sauce and set aside.

  • 3

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast walnuts just until pale golden, about 5 minutes.

  • 4

    Spread ½ cup sauce into a lightly oiled 12-x-8-inch baking dish. Cover with a layer of pasta (3 pieces) and cover with half of chard. Layer with pasta, then 1 cup sauce and sprinkle with walnuts. Add another layer of pasta then remaining chard, and another layer of pasta. Thickly spread remaining sauce over. Sprinkle with a handful of grated cheese. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Let stand 20 minutes before serving.