Red pepper lasagna

Yield: 8 Servings

Measure Ingredient
4 mediums Red sweet peppers; about 1 1/2 lb total
1 tablespoon Olive oil
1 can (28-oz.) crushed tomatoes
½ cup Snipped parsley
4 \N Cloves garlic; minced
¾ teaspoon Black pepper
⅓ cup Butter or margarine
⅓ cup All-purpose flour
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
3 cups Milk
1 \N Recipe Homemade Egg Pasta; or 12 lasagna noodles
1¼ cup Parmesan cheese; finely shredded, (5 oz.)
\N \N Fresh tomato wedges; optional
\N \N Fresh herb sprigs; optional

"NOTES: This recipe is one of my all time favorites, says Matt Brown. I could eat it every day of the year." For red pepper sauce, halve red peppers; remove stems, seeds, and membranes. Place peppers, cut side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake in a 425 F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or till skin is bubbly and browned.

Wrap peppers in the foil; let stand 20 to 30 minutes or till cool enough to handle. Peel skin from peppers. Cut peppers into thin strips. In a large saucepan cook red pepper in hot oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Stir in undrained tomatoes, parsley, garlic, and black pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring often. Set aside to cool.

For béchamel sauce, in a medium saucepan melt butter or margarine. Stir in flour, salt, and nutmeg till smooth. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Set aside to cool.

Prepare Homemade Egg Pasta (if using). Roll out dough, using rolling pin method or pasta machine method. Allow the dough to dry for I hour. Cut dough into twelve 12x4-inch strips.

To cook homemade pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to boiling. (Add 1 teaspoon cooking oil to water, if desired, to prevent pasta from sticking.) Add a few strips of homemade pasta to water; return to boiling.

Cook, uncovered, 6 minutes or till just tender. Remove pasta with a slotted spoon and immediately immerse in cold water. Repeat with the remaining homemade pasta. (Or, cook lasagna noodles according to package directions; immerse in cold water.) Remove cooked pasta with a slotted spoon and place on a large towel to remove excess water; blot dry with another towel.

To assemble, grease the bottom of a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Cover bottom with about one-fourth of the pasta, trimming pasta as necessary.

Spread about 1¼ cups of the red pepper sauce over the pasta. Drizzle about ¾ cup of the béchamel sauce over the red pepper sauce; sprinkle with about ⅓ cup of the Parmesan cheese. Repeat twice more with the pasta, red pepper sauce, béchamel sauce, and Parmesan cheese. Top with the remaining pasta and béchamel sauce; sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 F oven 30 to 35 minutes or till bubbly and light brown on top. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with tomatoes and fresh herbs, if desired. Makes 8 main-dish servings.

Make-ahead directions. Assemble lasagna as directed. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate up to 24 hours. To serve, remove plastic wrap and cover with foil. Bake in a 350-F oven 30 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes more or till bubbly.

SOURCE: BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS, OCTOBER 1996 Recipe by: Dinner from the Heart Posted to MC-Recipe Digest V1 #992 by "M. Hicks" <nitro_ii@...> on Jan 8, 1998

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