Pasta for the Other Half: Caramelized Onion Lasagne

As I’m happily enjoying lots of fresh lettuce from my garden and early summer produce from the markets it has been pointed out on another blog that not everyone on this planet is enjoying the same season.

My enthusing over yet another salad may be falling on less enthusiastic ears that are bundled up against the cold.  While I’m sipping a chilled rosé on the terrace they’re enjoying hot buttered rum in front of a roaring fire.

Okay, enough, you get the idea.  All of the bloggers living in that ‘other’ hemisphere are blessed with winter right now, so in their honor I am submitting a ‘winter’ pasta for Presto Pasta Nights, started by and hosted by Ruth of Once Upon A Feast.

We had golfing friends in Andorra that definitely had the right idea.  They spent May through October in  Andorra and Spain; November through April in Australia.
They also flew first class on Emerates Air with long stopovers in Dubai, Singapore and K.L. (to those not in the know that’s Kuala Lumpur)  Did I mention that they had money?  Old money of course. (New money is so crass!  – oops, been reading too many British novels.)  They were a very, very nice couple, as, I think, only those with very old money can be.  Nothing to prove, it was all proven a few hundred years ago….

I’m not the least bit jealous.  I’d much rather be slogging through the mud with my trusty machete here in the Vendée.  I mean, one needs challenges and obstacles to make life interesting, right?  Right?!?  RIGHT!?!?

Sorry about that….  I’ve been weeding again… You know what that does to me…

This creamy lasagne will comfort any one on a cold winter night in June:

Ham and Caramelized Onion Lasagne  Serves 2 – 3 generously

3 onions
1 tbs olive oil
1 slice baked ham, 8 oz (450gr) or equivalent
fresh mozzarella, 8 oz
3 tbs butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk – 16 oz, (500ml)
9 – 10 sheets ‘no-cook’ lasagna noodles
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Thinly slice the onions.  Heat oil in large nonstick Onionlasagneskillet over medium high heat.  Add onions and sauté, stirring, for 1 minute.  Cover the pan, reduce heat to medium low and let the onions cook for 10 minutes.  Uncover, increase heat to medium and continue to cook until onions are brown and sweet, about 15 minutes.  In another medium saucepan heat the butter over low heat.  Add flour and stir with a whisk for 1 minute.  Add a little (1/4 cup) of the milk and whisk to combine.  Turn heat up to medium and keep adding milk, a little at a time and whisking.  You should have added all of the milk in a minute or 2.  When all of the milk is in, bring to a boil (should almost be there), whisking.  Then remove from heat.  Congratulations!  You have just made a béchamel sauce!  Cut the ham into strips about 2″ (5cm) long by 1/4″ (.65cm) wide.  Slice the mozzarella as thinly as you can, then cut into strips.

Now you are ready to assemble: in a 10″ (25cm) square baking dish, or so…make the following layers

1/4 béchamel sauce
*2 noodles, you may have to break another one up to get good coverage
1/3 onions
1/3 ham
1/3 cheese

* repeat layers 2 more times ending with
2 noodles
1/4 béchamel sauce
Parmesan

Cover and bake 425F (215C) for 20 minutes, or until noodles are done.  Test in center with a sharp knife.  Uncover and bake 5 minutes longer to brown cheese.  Remove and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into squares (or oblongs) and serve.

There is another, less altruistic reason for me posting about this lasagne now: there have been so many great looking lasagne’s on Presto Pasta Night that I just had to get my two cents in!

Next week I’m back to salads, it is summer after all!

To all of you S.H. readers: You’re Welcome!

Don’t forget to check out Once Upon A Feast on Friday for the complete recap of pasta from everywhere!

12 thoughts on “Pasta for the Other Half: Caramelized Onion Lasagne”

  1. I’d like this with no ham, and twice the cheese! A great recipe for cooler weather than we’re having in Rhode Island right at the moment. Who says there is no global warming??

  2. Katie you’ve made Lasagne funny but made it seriously good with all that caramelised onions! Excellent.

  3. I love carmelized onions with anything. Just a big bowl of them and I could eat the whole thing! They are like candy! Nice lasagne!

  4. This looks delicious~I can eat this sort of meal no matter what hemisphere I am in. Did you get all the weeding completed?

  5. Oh my heavens! I’m wimpering here. That lasagna has reduced me to a drooling mess. Sigh. Trade ya a bagel for some lasagna??

  6. Pille, I can’t abide raw onions, but, caramelized I could eat by the panful…and often do 😉
    Lydia, how about some smoked salmon? That would be decadent – and more cheese!
    Tanna, we aim to please…it was seriously good.
    Jann, don’t ask about the weeding. A couple of hours a day, every day all summer…maybe I’ll be close to done! Maybe I should have a garden party and invite all the foodie bloggers to come and weed!?!
    Jenn, Add some cheese to that bowl and is’t better than candy (and won’t rot your teeth…oh wait, that was sex…wrong metaphor)
    Sher, if you can figure out how to get it all through customs I’m game. I just sent foie gras to a cousin in the U.S. and he actually got it! I’m amazed it got past the sniffer dogs! Must have been an off day…

  7. LOL – love your spin on life and will definitely be trying this version of lasagna when the weather changes. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

  8. Betty, I wonder how long we are going to have to wait for summer? And I hope we don’t get it with 45C temps when it comes!
    Ruth, yes, do try it – in cool weather….

  9. Yes I am one of those tucking into nice warming food. this would be an interesting change. LIke a ham cheese and onion sandwich… Nice idea the caramelized onions

  10. Gilli, it is very comforting. It’s been such a wretched summer where we live I think I’m going to cancel it and go back to winter.

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