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Lisa’s Lasagne in Bianco (White Lasagne)

White Lasagne

As some of you know, Sunday Dinner Lovers, Lisa worked in Alessandria, a post-World War II town in Northern Italy, in the early 1990s. When Lisa arrived, her mother called to ask how she was settling in. Lisa responded- “Mom, there’s no red sauce here! I don’t think I’m in Italy!” There is, in fact, a great deal of regional difference in Italian cooking. If any of you have flipped through Lisa’s cookbook, This is Sunday Dinner, you’ll see these differences! Polenta, for example, is a Northern cornmeal based primo that is often used instead of pasta. Differences also apply to lasagne! White lasagne, or lasagne made with besciamella, a flour, milk, and butter sauce, is the Northern Italian answer to classic lasagne with tomato sauce. There are some key tips to not allow your lasagne to be watery too (the worst!)- watch Lisa make this recipe on her YouTube channel to discover these tips!

Lasagne in Bianco (White Lasagne) Ingredients:

White Lasagne

2 pounds excellent-quality lasagne

For the besciamella sauce: 

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup unbleached flour

4 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon Sicilian sea salt, fine

For the Lasagne: 

12 ounces prosciutto cotto, thinly sliced

12 ounces Fontina cheese, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

1 teaspoon nutmeg, grated

Lasagne in Bianco (White Lasagne) Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

To make the pasta: Put a large 8-quart pasta pot on the stove and bring it to a rolling boil. Cook the lasagne according to the directions on the package. Drain the lasagne in a colander. Immediately place the drained lasagne on clean cotton or linen kitchen towels, on your kitchen table. Lay the lasagne flat on the towels, so they do not overlap, and cover them with another layer of towels.

White Lasagne

To make the besciamella sauce: Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Slowly add the flour and mix it into the butter with a wooden spoon until all the flour has been incorporated into the butter. Slowly begin to pour in the milk. While the milk is thickening slightly in the pan, add the salt and grated nutmeg. The besciamella should coat the back of a wooden spoon, but still be thin enough to spoon with a ladle over the lasagne.

Immediately remove the besciamella from the heat.

To assemble the lasagne: Ladle some of the besciamella into the bottom of a deep, 13 x 9-inch lasagne pan, then add 2 layers of lasagne noodles, another layer of besciamella, a layer of prosciutto, and a layer of Fontina. Sprinkle some of the Parmigiano on top. Add another layer of lasagne, besciamella, prosciutto, Fontina, and Parmigiano. Cook the lasagne for 30 minutes until the cheeses on top are completely melted and golden brown.

White Lasagne White Lasagne White Lasagne


  • Lisa Caponigri

    Lisa Caponigri is the author of This is Sunday Dinner and Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?, published by Sterling Epicure. Both of Lisa's cookbooks brim with her memories of living in Italy, both as a child and as an adult raising her own family, anecdotes about her family, regional and seasonal Italian specialties, and all the advice needed to get a spectacular Sunday Dinner on the table, every Sunday of the year. She has developed a line of prepared foods and sauces called Lisa’s Italian Kitchen. Lisa debuted on HSN and has appeared on QVC. She has also appeared on a variety of television programs, including Seattle's New Day Northwest, Good Morning Toronto, Chicago's WGNLunchbreak, and New England Cooks, to name a few. Lisa is frequently consulted as an expert in Italian lifestyle and food. Lisa Caponigri lives in South Bend, IN and travels frequently to Italy to research the latest in "la dolce vita". Visit to learn more about Lisa!

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