Today we are going to reinterpret a timeless classic of Italian cuisine: lasagna! We will, of course, make it into a savory ice cream version by going to turn the béchamel a gastronomic ice cream, the Parmesan into an espuma, and we will leave the bolognese ragù sauce as is… and the puffed lasagna? For that one, I’m going to rely on the number one pasta designer: Eleonora Zilli, aka “Lucele Food & Wine,” with whom I collaborated to put together this scenic dish and also very yummy you’ll see!

As I always explain when I cover the topic of building gastronomic ice cream, reinterpreting a traditional dish requires some thought before embarking on the venture. The idea of remaking lasagna has been tempting me for quite some time… the dish, however, is so sacred that it is easier to spoil it than to create a version that lives up to it!

Curious to see what came out of this Lasagna 2.0?

Dish transformation

A classic lasagna is a symphony of harmonious layers, a fusion of tender egg pasta, rich and velvety meat sauce, and creamy béchamel sauce, all sprinkled with abundant parmesan gratin. This iconic dish of Italian cuisine represents comfort and tradition, with each layer telling a story of homemade flavors and culinary embraces.

In the modern reinterpretation we have dubbed “Lasagna 2.0,” the structure and substance of this beloved dish have been deconstructed and reassembled in a display of gastronomic modernity. Retaining the authentic taste core, traditional layers have been transformed into new shapes and textures. The puffed lasagna sheets become crisp, introducing a contrasting texture element that defies the expectation of softness, as well as a vibrant color element through dual color. Béchamel ice cream replaces its liquid counterpart, bringing a coolness that refreshes the palate as it melts, mimicking soft béchamel in an unexpectedly cool and smooth form. Ragu remains true to its heritage, but is presented in a more concentrated way, almost like a treasure hidden among the layers. Finally, the parmesan foam offers a salty cloud of cheese, which spreads in the mouth to tie all the elements together with a final rich touch.

This dish is not only a tribute to traditional lasagna, but also an invitation to experience familiarity in a new light, challenging and delighting the palate with every bite.

Ingredients (for 8 people)

For the bi-color sheets
  • Egg Dough
    • 200 g of 00 flour
    • 1 whole yellow paste egg (55 g)
    • 2 yolks
    • If you cannot find yellow-paste eggs, add 1/2 sachet of saffron
  • Green dough
    • 200 g of 00 flour
    • 90 g of water
    • 16 g of spinach powder
For the bechamel ice cream
  • 230 g Whole Milk
  • 60 g Cream 35%
  • 10 g Low-Fat Milk Powder
  • 1 g Locust bean gum
  • 40 g Trehalose
  • 25 g Dextrose
  • 10 g Atomized Glucose 39 DE
  • 4 g Salt
  • 130 g Béchamel (15 g butter, 15 g flour, 100 g milk, 0.5 g nutmeg)
For the parmesan espuma
  • 150 g of Parmesan cheese
  • 200 g of cream
  • 200 g of milk
For the ragout
  • Use the classic recipe, no need to change anything 🙂

Steps

YouTube video
For the bi-color sheets

Egg dough: break the eggs inside the fountain of flour, mix well with a fork and then knead with hands until a smooth dough ball is formed, add a drop of water if necessary. Cover the dough and let it rest for half an hour.

Green dough: in a bowl mix flour with spinach powder and add water, mix with a fork. Tip the mixture onto a pastry board and knead well until a smooth dough ball is obtained. Allow the dough wrapped in plastic wrap to rest for at least half an hour.

Roll out green and yellow sheets of the same size, at the middle number of the pasta machine, overlap alternating layers of sheets and cut a 0.3 cm slice from the resulting loaf.

Roll out this slice with the pasta machine to the before last number. Cut squares of desired size and freeze them to promote heat shock, then fry 1 min in peanut oil at 170°C.


For the bechamel ice cream

Prepare the béchamel sauce by melting the butter in a pan, then add the flour and toast well, until the color turns almost hazelnut. At that point add the milk and thicken by stirring well. Season with nutmeg and set aside the amount that will be used for the ice cream.

Combine the powders in a bowl. Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan and add the powders by sprinkling them together at about 50°C. Stir well, then add the béchamel and bring to 80°C.

Pasteurize for two minutes, blast chill to +4°C in water and ice, and ripen for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator. Churn in ice cream maker.


For the parmesan espuma

Combine milk, cream and grated Parmesan cheese in a saucepan. Place on the heat and stir until the parmesan cheese is completely melted. If desired, you can also give the hot mixture a stir.

Strain and place in a siphon. Charge with a charge of N2O for siphons up to 0.5 l. Use 2 charges if you have a 1l siphon. Shake a couple of times, then leave the siphon in a thermostatic bath at 50°C until service. It should be served warm/tight.


For the ragout

Ask grandma or use the recipe that suits you best 😉

Plating

Managing the melting of ice cream is very important. If you are serving this dish to more than 4 people or in a catering setting, I recommend preparing the quenelles or scoops (or molds) of ice cream in advance and blast freezing them onto a baking sheet so they are nice and cold between mise en place and serving.

The ragout should not be served hot, but simply warm. The foam will be at approx. 45°C when it comes out of the siphon, so you have a few minutes to get everything to the table and a few handfuls of minutes before it all melts. I used a warm ragout, and the result, as a summer dish, remained very pleasant.

Pro Tip: during the ice cream balancing, it is also important to think about these details so as to improve the tightness by lowering the AFP and building the structure well with the sugars and stabilizing ingredients (the flour in the béchamel also comes to our aid here, so we will be more careful with the neutral).

Plate a half sheet of pasta in the center of a plate, then a spoonful of bolognese sauce. Lay on top a small quenelle of ice cream (20-30g) and then the other half of the lasagna sheet. In front of the diners, plate the mousse partially covering the ice cream and the ragout (or as you prefer), but I recommend doing it at the table because the dish looks better at that moment 🙂

gelato gastronomico alla besciamella spuma al parmigiano sfoglia fritta e ragu

Are you curious about the world of gastronomic ice cream?

You can get close to it via the webinar recording (in Italian) on transforming traditional dishes into gourmet ice cream.

To delve further, I suggest you cast an eye over CucinaLiOnline’s offerings: in our digital journey through the art of ice cream, we offer 3 exclusive online courses (in Italian), each aimed at turning enthusiasts into master ice cream makers.

The first course is a Guide to Artisan Ice Cream Making, where you will discover the secrets of making traditional ice cream, from the perfect balance of ingredients to the techniques of balancing and making ice cream, sorbets and slushies.

The second course, on Gastronomic Ice Cream, is designed for chefs and enthusiasts who want to explore ice cream as a revolutionary element in gourmet dishes.

Finally, our advanced course, on inclusive ice cream, focuses on innovative recipes that meet needs due to intolerances or specific dietary choices without sacrificing taste: vegan ice cream, lactose-free ice cream, sugar-free ice cream, and variegations.

With lifetime access to educational materials and the flexibility to learn at your own pace, these courses are ideal for elevating your passion or profession in the world of ice cream to new and extraordinary levels.

An avalanche of ice cream recipes

If you are not interested in learning how to make ice cream, but just want the recipes, the Ice Cream Project is for you!

The “Ice Cream Project” is a unique book where supporters become an integral part of the creative process. It is an ice cream recipe book that grows and evolves each month, enriched with new recipes requested by you. Each recipe is professionally balanced, making it perfect for making either at home or in the ice cream parlor. The magic of the project lies in the ability you have to request specific recipes, making the book a collective work tailored to those who support it!

Andrea Rapanaro
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