This indulgent, BLT-inspired pasta bake is the perfect recipe for your next Sunday cooking session. A fresh tomato sauce balances the rich bacon béchamel in this fun twist on classic lasagna. While we made a fresh tomato sauce here, you can use your favorite jarred sauce as a convenient shortcut.
1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 thick-cut bacon slices, cooked (drippings reserved for Bacon Béchamel) and chopped, divided
1 large bunch Lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped, divided
5 ripe large tomatoes, cut into 1-in. pieces
1 medium-size red onion, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 thyme sprigs
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup bacon drippings
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
How to Make It
Begin the Lasagna: Stir together panko, Parmesan, parsley, basil, black pepper, and half of the chopped bacon in a small bowl; set aside.
Prepare the Tomato Sauce: Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss together tomatoes, red onion, olive oil, garlic, vinegar, salt, black pepper, and sugar on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until tomatoes are softened and slightly browned, about 20 minutes. Stir in basil, and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.
Meanwhile, prepare the Bacon Béchamel: Combine white onion, butter, ground fennel seeds, red pepper, thyme sprigs, garlic, cloves, and bay leaf in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium, stirring often, 3 minutes. Add wine, and cook, stirring often, until liquid has reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Stir in milk and cream, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and let stand 20 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl; discard solids.
Whisk together bacon drippings and flour in a medium saucepan over medium. Cook, whisking often, 2 minutes. Add warm milk mixture, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside.
Assemble the Lasagna: Place 2/3 cup of the Tomato Sauce in the bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles in a single layer on Tomato Sauce. Spread 1 cup of the Tomato Sauce on noodles, and top evenly with 1 cup of the Bacon Béchamel. Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 cup of the chopped bacon and 1 cup of the mozzarella. Top evenly with half of the kale. Repeat layers of noodles, Tomato Sauce, Bacon Béchamel, bacon, mozzarella, and kale. Top with remaining 3 noodles, and spread evenly with remaining Bacon Béchamel. Top evenly with remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Cover loosely with a piece of aluminum foil lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375°F 35 minutes.
Uncover Lasagna, and sprinkle evenly with panko mixture. Return to oven, and bake at 375°F until golden brown and bubbly, 10 to 15 minutes. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
You May Like
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Join our newsletter for free recipes, healthy living inspiration, and special offers.