Ben’s not a picky eater, but he doesn’t like tomatoes unless they are roasted or dried (last year he went through a phase of eating graham crackers & dried tomatoes for breakfast). So when I remembered this recipe, I was happy to bring lasagne back into our lives. It’s from one of my favorite general cookbooks, Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors. Her version is pretty easy; mine is even easier.
1 c walnuts
2-3 bunches chard, leaves only
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for the dish
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c white wine
1 c ricotta
1 c grated parmesan
8 oz fresh mozzarella, coarsely grated
1 1/4 c milk
8 oz lasagne noodles
Preheat oven to 400. While it’s warming, put the walnuts in to toast. Give them 7-10 minutes, until they are nice and fragrant, then chop finely and set aside.
Cook chard leaves in a large pot with a couple cups of water till tender, about 5 minutes. Scoop chard into colander, press out most of the water, reserving 1/3 cup of the cooking water. Chop chard finely.
Heat oil in a wide skillet and add 2 cloves of garlic, then chard. Cook over medium-high heat, turning frequently, for several minutes, then add wine and allow to cook down. Turn off heat.
Combine ricotta, parmesan, all but 3/4c mozzarella, and remaining garlic in a bowl. Stir in 1/3 c chard water, then add chard. Mix, season with salt & pepper.
Lightly oil a 9×13″ baking dish. Drizzle 1/4c milk into dish (it won’t spread evenly because of the oil; that’s ok).
Fit 3 pieces of uncooked (really, it’ll work just fine) pasta into baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/4 c milk, 1/3 cheese mixture, 1/4c walnuts. Repeat twice more with pasta, milk, cheese mix and nuts. When you get to the last layer, add the remaining mik, mozzarella, and walnuts.
Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove foil and bake 10 minutes longer, or till lightly browned.
Let rest 10 minutes before serving.