My heart has been bursting these past couple of days. With love for my children.
Of course I always love my children.
But my love for them is like my throat. Yes, that is exactly what I meant to write, I am not hallucinating. You know how certain parts of your body are just there, a given, even if you don't feel them, like your throat or your spleen? And then sometimes you are aware you have a throat, because it is sore or scratchy. That is like my love for my kids today, not that I want to compare them to an ache or a pain. It is just that they are normally fully integrated into my body, my soul, my life, my heart. But yesterday I woke up actually feeling my heart in my chest and it has been throbbing ever since with a feeling of constant, overpowering love for them.
Am I making any sense? At all?
I think it all started on Monday night, when I went into the childrens' room to tuck them in and dim their night light. As I walked over to my son's crib, I noticed something pink clutched in his dimply little hand. At a closer glance I noticed it was Piggy, my daughter's favorite stuffed animal, the pig she has been sleeping with since she was a wee babe. I don't know if he had been sniffling or complaining or if they were playing together in the semi darkness once their door was shut. All I know is that at some point after the lights went out, my little girl got out of her bed and gave her little brother her most prized posession to sleep with. And he took it and fell into a serene, thoughtless slumber.
That is when I know we did right.
That is all.
I just needed to share. I feel like when I write about my offspring it is more to vent about illness, baby sitter disasters, craziness and lack of time or sleep then to talk about what it really all boils down to. And now that I have started using cooking analogies, I know it is time to give you my recipe.
This is just another way to enjoy the gloriousness of pesto. Sure, you could just smear some on a piece of toast or put some on a toothbrush and brush your teeth with it, but if you want to be a little more refined or make dinner for a large group or a meal that you can freeze in portions for a rushed day in the future, this is the recipe for you. You can use freshly made pesto, or that jar you have in the freezer or you can even buy ready made pesto. I will not judge you. However, I do suggest you make your own bechamel, because it is so fast and really does make a world of difference. I know the measurements are not precise, but they really are up to you and your personal taste.
lasagne (homemade, dry, fresh)
bechamel sauce (using 1l of milk)
1 cup or more of pesto sauce
pine nuts ( about a handful)
green beans (approximately 2 cups)
A note on the bechamel: since you are not using meat sauce, you may want to make your bechamel more creamy by using a little less flour. This will help the lasagna cook better and more evenly and will make for a more comforting dish. I made a thicker version this time, because of the crunchy factor (this is for you Mommy!). Once you have made your bechamel and pesto sauces and blanched your green beans, preheat your oven to 180° C and start layering the ingredients. Start with a little bechamel on the bottom of the dish for extra moisture. Layer the lasagna (I bought fresh lasagne, which I suggest if they sell the pre-packaged kind where you live. If they don't, just remember the moistness factor when using lasagne from a box because pesto lasagne tend to dry out more than the traditional ragu version). Cover in bechamel sauce and pesto (I mix them once they are in the tray), sprinkle over the green beans (not too many since you will be using them in every layer), a few pine nuts, parmesan cheese and a little pepper. Do this for as many layers as you like. I made six to use up the whole package. The last layer should never be too rich, just enough to show off what goodness is hidden beneath.
Cook for approximately 30 minutes, or enough for the pasta to be cooked through and the top to be browned.